To celebrate Margaret’s birthday, Ted and I drove from Boston to Concord where the ebbing marshland along the road and beautiful, lush green landscape welcomed us to town. It was wonderful to be back after seven years ago participating in the 200th Anniversary Birthday Celebration at First Parish of Concord on a panel.
To Ted’s delight, we drove through town right to Old North Bridge where the shot heard ’round the world began the Revolutionary War. Next door is Ralph Waldo Emerson’s grandparents’ house, the Old Manse, where Margaret enjoyed meeting with Emerson to discuss important Transcendentalist things. One can just feel the peace and beauty present here where Emerson wrote his essay, “Nature,” as father of Transcendentalism.
In Concord Public Library, we viewed the current exhibition showing different photographic portraits of Emerson. He just loved the new photography! We ate homemade squash, corn, and red rice soup with a delicious feta cheese and hummus pita on the welcoming bench outside the bakery on Main Street where we bought the lunch. The cloudy sky had given way to blue skies and sunshine with great warmth.
We visited First Parish of Concord again, then drove down to Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House where the lovely Lis Adams, education director, met us for a quick tour of the House and her new office digs next door up the hill through a gorgeous woods path. It was great to be back in Orchard House. It felt very uplifting and light in energy. May’s room was particularly delightful in feeling with all her art and drawings present.
I had spoken on Margaret emphasizing her deep friendship with A. Bronson Alcott, Louisa’s father, at the Summer Conversational Series of the Concord School of Philosophy at Orchard House in 2010. It was wonderful to be with Lis again as she offers such beautiful hospitality. Lis grew up near us in Boyertown, Berks County, PA. She has an endearing and caring quality of relationship, which she brings to her teaching and educational programming.
Lis helped us get directions to Mount Auburn Cemetery where we discovered the fresh birthday red rose placed on Margaret’s memorial erected by her grieving family over her drowning with her husband and baby son in a shipwreck off on Fire Island, NY on July 19, 1850. Ted and I took photographs and honored her great work and inspiration for us all in living the sacred marriage within. Happy Birthday, Beloved Margaret Fuller Ossoli!