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Finding Peace in Mourning


The calendar says it’s spring, and it was certainly starting to look that way. Perhaps we’ve all been fooled. Nature still seems to think it’s winter, despite the daffodils that came and went.

And so have two of the four big steeplechase races in the Brandywine Valley. The Radnor Hunt Races will run this weekend and I’m desperately hoping it doesn’t rain. So many days have been cold and dark, almost as if fall was here already. Still, the races are reminder that it is still spring, no matter the temperature.

The chilly, rainy weather is appropriate as I—and many in the community—mourn the loss of a dear friend, Frolic Weymouth. He was a friend and mentor, a true light in the Brandywine Valley. We’ve each found ways to honor and remember him. For me, along with Joe Dombrowski and Kaitlin Mayhorn, that was in the form of a memorial video. It was shown at both Winterthur Point-to-Point and the Pig Roast at Big Bend Farm after the races. A reedited version will run at Radnor Hunt this weekend, as we remember our friend.

Frolic’s life touched so many in the Brandywine Valley, and those people wish to share in his memory. Frolic was a visionary—and with his vision, he helped establish both the Brandywine River Museum and Conservancy and the Frolic Weymouth Endowment Fund of the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art, to which all proceeds from the memorial video will be donated. I will carry with me something that he encouraged his son to do each time they spoke: Look for something beautiful every day.

Going forward, I will.

With spring comes an onslaught of activity that will have me traveling all over, but it’s at home where I’ll hone in on those elusive beautiful things. Longwood Gardens is one of the places I always return, to exercise my eye, to try seeing in a different way, to learn something new. In late May, there are tours of the outdoor fountains and the historic east gardens. Visitors can learn about the influences of the design, mechanics and history of these wonderful water features—and why Longwood can be thought of as an “engineer’s garden.”

In June, Hagley will again regale members with its fanatic fireworks show, well worth the fee. The night features a full evening of family activities, ending with a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. Visitors can bring their own picnic or pick up dinner from a variety of on-site vendors. If not by this weekend, then surely by mid-June it will feel like summer, if for no other reason than the bursts of color popping overhead.

I know beauty is out there … just outside my door.

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