There are few times in one’s life that you can say, “I’ll remember this as long as I live.” Last night was one of those moments. I had the opportunity to read to a sold-out crowd on the terrace at the Mount, Edith Wharton’s beloved home. It was a glorious night with china blue early evening skies, the gardens in their fullest bloom, and temperatures that made me want to move to the Berkshires!
I can’t quite describe the emotion I felt as I stood at the podium looking towards the house that Edith built with so much love. The truth is — I felt she was there with all of us. I’ve worried that Edith wouldn’t want me to tell her story. She was a very private person. But last night, the feeling was so felicitous, so joyous, well, surely, she was smiling.
And I’ll share a funny moment. I have always felt that the Mount was familiar to me. As I mentioned in my last post, when I walked into the Drawing Room for the first time, I had deja vu. It was absolutely as I imagined it. Last night I stepped into the Drawing Room again and said to the docent, “Didn’t there used to be a table along that far right wall?” She looked at me rather strangely.
“There’s a photo over there of how the room looked in Edith’s day,” she told me. And yes, there was a long dark table on that wall, just as I knew there had been. Edith believed in ghost stories. I can’t say I ever have. But last night, I believed!