Sunday, May 1, 2011

a unique museum experience

We had a very unique and memorable experience today at the Hammond Museum and Stroll Garden located in North Salem, NY.  This gem of a place is located in northern Westchester County and I have been fortunate to have visited the museum and garden once before to take in the art exhibits and walk in the garden.  The mission statement boasts that the Japanese Stroll Garden provides a place of natural beauty and tranquility, to delight the senses and refresh the spirit. It is a place where aspects of Eastern and Western culture can be appreciated through art exhibitions, concerts, special events and educational programs in order to promote global awareness and understanding.  Today the museum was holding a very special (free) event, their 46th Annual Blessing of the Animals and Land. Since we adopted our dog Mel in December, he has brought us nothing but joy and happiness every day.  We thought this would be a wonderful opportunity for him, to receive a blessing along with the land at the Japanese Stroll Garden.  In attendance were several Officiating Clergy providing an Interfaith Ceremony.

Mel taking a stroll in the Stroll Garden before the blessing began with my husband Tom

Posing for portraits by the waterfall

Animals and people being led into the garden at the start of the blessing

The officiants gathered in the center of the the pond at the start to welcome everyone with a Buddhist you can see it was a beautiful spring day!

Pets and their owners gathered around the pond.  Many brought their dogs, but some had cats, birds, and even a pet hedgehog was present!

We found a nice place in the shade under a tree

It was very peaceful

Mel even participated in the guided meditation

After the group blessing, the officiants came around and met with owners and their pets to offer each pet an individual blessing.  

We are very grateful for having the opportunity to attending the blessing today with Mel and are so pleased the Hammond Museum provides such unique and diverse events for the community.  Please check out their website to see the upcoming events, exhibits and classes offered.  

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