The Cloisters bring me back to a happy childhood. My parents would load my 3 older siblings and I in the back seat of the station wagon. It was cramped, but just enough space that the four of us fit. We would ride in the car not knowing the destination until we arrived.
I remember going for the first of many times, and being the last one to jump out the car because I fit snugly in the middle with 2 sisters on the left and one on the right or vice versa. When I first saw the building, I thought it was a castle, and instantly felt like a princess.
I walked around holding one of my older sister’s hands, feeling intimidated, until I felt secure enough to release my miniature grip. Once I did, I remember being intrigued by the colors, shapes and intricacies of all the varying foliage in the outdoor gardens. And then being amazed by the palatial rooms with giant paintings and structures.
All the while looking over my shoulder and waiting patiently for my mom, interlocked fingers with my dad, to give me the silent look or nod that it was ‘ok’. Ok to look, get closer, touch, or not touch.
This was the first of many weekend museum trips my parents used to get us and themselves out the house. But these trips meant so much more to me. They represented an introduction to beauty, knowledge, and opportunity.