Monday, October 12, 2015


As I was driving home from Pennsylvania yesterday I knew that the title of this post had to be BEAUTIFUL.  It began and ended with a long and yet a beautiful drive back and forth from Columbus in my little Kia Soul.  I could not take a picture because I was driving solo but never have I seen more varied colors in the mountains as I drove - red, orange, gold and green.  It was spectacular!

The reunion with the "Roslyn Girls" was also BEAUTIFUL. As I drove home yesterday and saw the variety of colors and kinds of trees, I realized that was who we were together.  Women whose lives had intersected at a certain time and place and grew up to become ourselves in all of our different gifts and experiences, shapes and  colors.  Some had worked in retail, in counseling, in art, in law, the FBI, in administration, and me in the church.  Some were retired and some were still working. We shared stories of our working lives, of our marriages and divorces, our children and grandchildren, our dogs and cats.  We shared our memories from life in West Chester - with conversations about teachers, old boy friends, friends and  families.  We shared about the death of parents or present caring for parents.  A lot of memories and a lot of stories.  And as I look back on these days - a truly BEAUTIFUL reunion.

Saturday Night we went to Longwood Gardens and experienced the "Nightscape:" an immersive evening journey around the  Gardens as we encountered  moving imagery and light set to original music compositions.  Longwood Gardens has a lot of memories for me as I went there with my family and remember how much my Mom and Grandma loved it. I cannot even describe what it was like to walk at night in this familiar place and see the lights  and the flowers, the trees, the lake, the orchids, the bonsai.  It was extraordinary and BEAUTIFUL.

For some reason I took this picture of a bonsai.  As I recall it was over 100 years old! 

  I looked up about bonsai trees on Wikipedia and it says:
"The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower). By contrast with other plant cultivation practices, bonsai is not intended for production of food, for medicine, or for creating landscapes. Instead, bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees growing in a container."

My 8 hour drive home yesterday was a time of contemplation as I considered how my life has been cultivated and shaped through time spent in various places as a child and as an adult.  I lived in Roslyn in  West Chester Pennsylvania from 5th grade through 11th grade and then left to finish up high school in Birmingham Michigan.  There was stability for years and then instability and there is no question that it "bent me" in different shapes and is part of who I am today.

This is the house that we lived in during those years.  I have memories of riding bikes, playing lacrosse in the front yard, listening to "West Side Story" over and over again  on the living room stereo, watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show on the TV in the basement, and noisy family dinners in the dining room. I remember so many good times as I was growing up and being cultivated and shaped and becoming Margot Gersen.   I was shaped by this place and the events  and the  people  who touched my life during these years.

And so, I am today grateful for all of it and the gift of reflection today. I am especially grateful for the gift of retirement because now I have the time to go and reconnect with the Roslyn girls of my past and remember and make new memories.  It was a BEAUTIFUL gift to be together again.

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