Thursday, April 17, 2014

Falling for Falling Water

We wrapped up spring break here a few weeks ago.

Thank God!

Though many of my neighbors and friends waited desperately for a break in the school calendar to arrive, I was not among them. Without a sunnier clime to look forward to, without a bathing suit to purchase and a floppy hat to wear, spring break looked like a long slog of working and caring for my kids at the same time, and doing neither one well.

But it wasn't all bad.

Though Mother Nature has generally been a bitch this winter (sorry for the word choice, but you know it's true), she did shower us with one day of glorious sunshine and warm breezes that week. It just happened that we'd planned a trip to Pennsylvania to see Falling Water that day.

Falling Water was designed in 1935 by Frank Lloyd Wright, a summer home for the prestigious Kauffman family, of Kauffman Department Stores. It sits in rural southwestern Pennsylvania, an oasis from the bustle of the city.

Wright's design focuses heavily on the harmony between nature and humans, which couldn't have been better displayed that day. After record breaking wind chills and endless cloudy days marked only by snowfall, we all felt like we were seeing the sun for the first time that day. Every room of the magnificent home had its own terrace. Our eyes were constantly drawn outward, to the sun, the unspoiled woods, the sound of the rushing water below. I could have remained there all day, basking in the sun's warmth and drinking in my surroundings: both natural and manmade.

It wasn't a day at the beach, but it was perfect in its own, delightful way. The day trip provided respite from the daily grind: new ideas, new people, and new places to consider and explore. It reminded me that I don't need a wad of cash and an airplane to enjoy life's pleasures.

What gems are awaiting your discovery in the state next door?

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