O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sagAnd all but cry with colour!
Well, today was a day with bright sunshine and glorious color--and what beckoned me was a trip to Stone Barns.
For years, I've walked the Rockefeller property in Westchester County, always looking with great admiration at the French style stone barns in the distance. Several years ago, an organic farm and ecological center was developed on this property and now Stone Barns is open to the public. (You pay a small parking fee which is refunded if you spend $15 for lunch or in the gift shop). How can I be so fortunate, I say to myself, to live so near such a unique place?
Their kitchen garden alone is a delight to visit. You must drive carefully on the winding roads as you might encounter a chicken sauntering across the path. But who would speed at Stone Barns? So many things to see. Sheep, Black Angus grazing on the hillside, snow white turkeys, and so many other pastoral vistas. Stone Barns does have a renown restaurant, Blue Hill, but there is also a small cafe with an ideal lunch for a warm, fall day when you can sit outside at long tables. Everything is made from produce on the farm. A two-inch high frittata and a salad could not have tasted better. And the tiny chocolate chip cookies which came home in my bag probably won't make it past teatime.
The gift shop at Stone Barns has a well-edited selection of books including many cookbooks which emphasize it's mission. I always find stocking-stuffers for children--unique things like a woolly ram finger puppet. I once bought bright orange sweatshirts in wee sizes for newborn twins. They worn them on their first pumpkin picking outing. The shirts are decorated with a carrot, which is the emblem of Stone Barns. Today, I indulged in a mandarin and lavender scented candle made by Paddywax. The container, itself, a little work of art from recycled materials. Yes, I will save it and find a way to use it. Have no fear, it will be recycled yet again.
On the way home, along roads lined with rustling leaves, I am reminded of another of Edna's poems: Afternoon on a Hill. Forgive me if I have overused it in my writing:
I will be the gladdest thing Under the sun!
What is there about a perfect autumn day that so inspires--can it be it is simply pure perfection? Have you a time to share?