Green is where the Heart Is for April 22, 2015

By / Green Is Where The Heart Is / Wednesday, 22 April 2015 04:00

“The world is not respectable; it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded forever; but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter; and in these, the spirit blooms timidly, and struggles to the light amid the thorns.” ~ George Santayana

By Mo Linquist
Contributing Writer

Randy and I are on our 40th wedding anniversary celebration visiting Asheville, one of our favorite NC attractions.  It could be close to our hearts because I think Randy may have been George Vanderbilt in a previous lifetime or because of the most auspicious feng shui arrangement of mountains offering protection quite contrary to the feeling of living ‘on the edge’ at the beach, exposing one to the harsh elements of wind and water.
My head is full of the contrasts of life.
Currently the display at the Estate includes Downton Abbey costumes. Exquisite silks and chiffons, beaded with fine needlework placed on mannequins, make the rooms come to life.
The legacy Vanderbilt left is still realized today by his ancestors and the 1,800 people the estate employs. At the turn of the last century those in the upper echelon of society lived a life of privilege, wealth, education, travel and a taste for the fine arts. 
Downton Abbey has entertained us with the order of old society bloodlines and Americans like Lady Cora or Cornelius Vanderbilt proved that new American fortunes could override this order. 
During our tour of the estate we visited the opulent areas designed for guests and also the simple, yet adequate servants quarters.  Apparently the kindness of Vanderbilt and his wife Edith overflowed to their servants.  One young kitchen maid was quoted as saying, “He was the kindest man she ever knew.” That came after she took a horrible spill and dropped a whole tray full of plated food on expensive china.  He didn’t scold her.  He got up from his guests and helped her.  She never forgot his act. 
The first World War and the Great Depression took a toll on high society.  It was interesting to see how the design of the garments changed along with the mindsets.  Women were casting off corsets, demanding the privilege to vote and working at paid careers if they preferred. 
I wonder what the conversation would be today if architect Richard Morris Hunt, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, and George Vanderbilt could see the finished product over 100 years later.  Entering the grounds on the winding road producing ‘conscious relaxation’ by the genius Olmstead, in preparation to come around a right hand curve and see the grand building designed by Hunt may have been the vision with which Vanderbilt envisioned to delight his visitors.  Could he have ever imagined the enormity of his accomplishment as one million visitors flock to his estate every year. 
Life is a melody of ups and downs, good times and bad times, joy and sorrows.  It is the yin and yang of how we experience this world.  We each leave a legacy and because of that I am grateful for the light.  xo mo
Kure Beach resident Mo Linquist, Master FSIA, Red Ribbon Professional of IFSG and allied ASID is a recognized expert on Pyramid Feng Shui. She is the “ PersonPlace” design consultant specializing in soft goods such as fabrics, window treatments, reupholstery, blinds, shutters, feng shui and green healthy living products.  Her design studio is located in the Artful Living Group building 112 Cape Fear Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC.   Linquist speaks nationally and holds regular workshops and accredited trainings on this ancient form of environmental psychology. Helping clients create home and office spaces designed specifically to support their individual goals and intentions, Linquist uses cutting-edge techniques integrating science, 25 years of interior design experience and Feng Shui to balance, harmonize and create new patterns for success. To learn more about her work or for a consultation, contact her at  FaceBook at Mo Linquist Living Solutions or call 910-216-0366 local or 330-904-3636 mobile.


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