August 13, 2021
Two weeks ago in Washington, DC, we enjoyed a few mild, Spring-like days. On one day in particular, when the temperature didn’t rise above 75 degrees, I took the opportunity to walk around the Cottage to admire the beautiful red and purple hibiscus that are growing next to the veranda on the south side of the Cottage. I felt weary that afternoon – COVID cases are once again rising in our area and around the country, with an especially alarming impact to children, and I was grappling with a fear that the sense of “normalcy” I’ve been waiting on may never return. In that moment, I was reminded of the first season the Lincolns spent in residence at the Cottage. The war-weary President moved his family to these grounds after their son died of an infectious disease, and this place held them in their sorrow and nurtured the range of human emotions they felt during that season.
As we enter yet another season of uncertainty, the staff at President Lincoln’s Cottage remains motivated to serve our community safely through programming that helps people wrestle with the issues, big and small, facing our nation and our families. We remain dedicated to removing barriers of access for students and teachers and have developed education programs that are appropriate for both virtual and onsite learning at the Cottage. Last month, we offered a first-of-its-kind landscape tour that combines the history of these grounds with mindfulness techniques and reflection to engage visitors in the grounds in ways that the Lincolns might have been. And, next month, we will welcome the community back to the grounds for our annual Homecoming program, which includes thoughtful family day activities and the Freedom 5K.
Mary Lincoln once described these grounds to a friend saying, “When we are in sorrow, quiet is very necessary to us.” During this season, what is necessary to you? Is there somewhere you can go to help you find that? If the Cottage can help in that pursuit, or if you need a place to help nurture your spirit, please reach out to us.
With warm wishes of health and safety to you and your families.