What is it about the Formal Garden at Benmore, combined with some sunshine, that makes children want to turn cartwheels and do handstands? I suspect it’s the same thing that makes them want to run up the Redwood Avenue laughing and shrieking with clichés of exuberance and pure unedited joy.
Perhaps more importantly, why do only children succumb to the spell? Why as adults do we fight the magic’s promptings?
So, what I want to say is, however old you are, next time you come to Benmore give one of more of these activities a try. Don’t be shy. I’ve just had a sneaky go at all three and golly, it made me feel good. I can’t explain why but it did. Benmore certainly has me spellbound.
However, I suspect if I said anything as reckless as that I’d need to follow it by a whole host of disclaimers.
So instead, here’s a poem by Sonia from Lancaster.
More than three wishes
I wish I was courageous enough to roll like a cart’s wheel,
to roll like the five happy girls across the lawn,
not worry who sees my tree-trunk thighs or my faded, baggy knickers
bought with comfort and washability in mind, not allure.
I wish I was courageous enough to climb the tallest Redwood
and sit for hours, singing like a finch or a nightingale
and not be afraid to look down.