When the middle of the night is a soft, protective blanket and the stars shine the way, I tour the world via the Internet when I can’t travel it in person. There’s so much to learn and so little time. I’m grateful for the blessings of this amazing technology. It’s almost (but not quite) as magical as traveling via Peter Pan’s pixie dust.
Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella)
February’s Smithsonian Magazine has a delightful article about Florentine monks who make perfumes and medieval elixirs from ancient herbal recipes. A 600-year-old pharmacy, they use herbs and flowers grown in the hills of Florence.
Have a yearning for a bottle of "Acqua della Regina" (Water of the Queen) made for Catherine de Medici so long ago? The monks have gone international with their herbal creams, soap, and fragrances. You can find these products in their official New York and Los Angeles stores if you can’t make it to Italy.
Scholars define myths as sacred narratives developed to explain the world and its origins. Whether those stories are true or not, I love the creative ways mythology is depicted in paintings, music, textiles, and so on. For example, The British Museum has an ancient Greek tapestry on exhibit depicting Artemis and Actaeon.
You can read the story of Artemis and Actaeon at Mythography.
Peter Pan Statue
There’s a statue in Kensington Gardens in the U.K. commissioned by Sir James (JM) Barrie, author of the Peter Pan books. The story about its installment goes thus: “After it was finished, Barrie arranged for it to be put in Kensington Gardens in the middle of the night because he wanted people to believe it was magic. And on the morning of 1 May, 1912, there it was - and still is.” Isn’t that lovely?
May you be touched by pixie dust and fly to the “Second star to the right, then straight on till morning" for an adventurous weekend!