When I was a little girl, someone gifted me something that left quite an impression on me; the book Linnea in Monet’s Garden, and a Linnea doll. I remember spending countless hours playing with Linnea and both having my Mom read the book to me, and when I was old enough, reading it myself. I often imagined what it would feel like to be in Monet’s garden, just like Linnea.
While this probably wasn’t the normal 8-year-old fantasy, for whatever reason, I was captivated by Monet’s story and that famous pond with those beautiful water lilies.
When we arrived in Paris, it was a cold Monday night, and we had just enough time and energy to grab a cozy meal before we crashed into bed. When I very excitedly awoke on Tuesday morning (at the ripe hour of 3:45 a.m.), it was October 31st. Yes, Halloween, but more importantly, the day that we would travel out to Giverny to explore Monet’s garden and home; something that I had been dreaming about most of my life.
Being that it was the second-to-last day of the open season to tour Monet’s home and gardens, and the fact that it was already quite chilly (36°), we really had no clue what to expect. But as it turned out, the gardens were beautiful, magical, and felt just as I had remembered them from the book.
While there were definitely no water lilies blooming in the pond – standing where Monet stood and seeing his inspiration – it was a very special moment for me. I literally felt what he was so drawn to, and what consumed his life’s work.
This beautiful little pond, so simple and quaint, yet with so much detail and beauty. It is no wonder to me why Monet painted so many different interpretations of this one small spot.
To say that it was a treat for me to visit Monet’s garden is a little bit of an understatement. It was truly a childhood dream come true. I was no longer reading and dreaming about Linnea in Monet’s garden, I was living it.