My Blogoversary - The Moon Gate at Naumkeag, Stockbridge, Ma.
My first blogoversary (that has to be the 'new word of the year') passed and I didn't notice! So in the spirit of belated celebration, I am reprinting one of the very first blog posts I wrote. Its fitting since the snow is about 10 inches high where I am right now.
Two evenings ago, driving along a road in open farm country, I watched as the January full moon rose over a snowy landscape....the large white disc shining brightly in a liquid gray sky was spectacular! I now understand why animals howl at the moon - it must be a sympathetic show of appreciation and awe...
The grandeur of the full moon made me reflect on moon gates, the traditional Chinese circular entryways that lead into contained gardens and cities. The rounded opening alludes to the full moon and the Chinese adage that says, 'Flowers are more beautiful when the moon is full.'
Stepping through a round portal is symbolic of so many things. Like our entrance into this world, an enveloping enclosure calls to us to see what is on the other side. This sort of entry speaks to us of mystery and delight - no soaring Calatrava-like bridge or ornamented portico - a moon gate beckons quietly, saying 'all is well, come see for yourself..."
The most wonderful aspect of this particular moon gate is the masonry. The wall, of which it is a part, is built from dark red brick and gray fieldstone. The gate itself is brick topped with lovely brickwork and a wooden roof. The masonry is quite different from traditional Chinese moon gates which are often fashioned from smooth stucco or finished stone. Here, the large round gate fits in with the native plants of this region perfectly and does not look ersatz or slightly out of place as so many Chinese gardens appear to be in my part of the world.
Btw, it is said that a moon gate brings good luck to all who pass through it so, with that, a summer visit to the Berkshire Mountains and the stunning Naumkeag may be just what you require! This photo blow is taken from the Naumkeag official website: