Thursday, 7 August 2008

Perspectives and Reflections

Today I visited Stourhead with a friend who is a National Trust member and who didn't want to drive the diagonal journey across Wiltshire on her own. Stourhead is an amazing garden full of astonishing perspectives and reflections. As I pondered on what to write about this visit, it occurred to me how often we use words such as perspective and reflection as metaphors for trying to make sense out of our own life's journey. I wondered whether the creator of Stourhead, Henry Hoare II (also known as Henry the Magnificent) had encoded this same idea into it's vistas with the replica temples to Flora the goddess of flowers, spring, and fertility and Apollo the god light and the sun, music, poetry and medicine.

The Temple to the goddess Flora

The Pantheon - reflected in the lake

The Temple to Apollo - set up a steep hill to represent Apollo's choice between the easy path of pleasure and the more arduous path of virtue.