"It takes all sorts to make a world" - Badger
A few months back I was asked to photograph a children’s party themed The Wind in The Willows. I had heard of the book and after some light research I recognized the illustrations of the story from when I was a little girl.
Kenneth Grahame’s tale is told through 4 characters: Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger. It originated as bedtime stories told to Grahame’s son Alastair around 1904. In 1908 Grahame moved to the country and compiled the stories together in the novel The Wind in the Willows. It follows several animals throughout their adventures in the English countryside and even as an adult the themes are extremely relatable.
Grahame touches on ideas of home, adventure, the values of hospitality and honesty, and the appreciation of nature’s beauty through exploration. I know, awesome right? Each character in a way symbolizes different ages and stages of life from being older and wise to being young, curious, and trying to make it in the world. All in all the story is like a giant mixing bowl of what humans go through to grow. It’s quite wonderful and if you feel like reading about badgers in row boats and a very accommodating rat – this ones for you. Anywho now that you have a little insight into the book – let’s talk about the party.
The party was thrown by Ginny Everitt along the Great South Bay in Bellport. When I was asked to document the event I drifted into memories of hanging in her backyard wearing flip flops when I was younger and wondering how far the cattails go. The details of the party were beautiful and the atmosphere of her home was like something out of, well, a book. There were rowboats and old cars and even a crystal toad on top of one of the best cakes I’ve ever had. The kids ran around barefoot and the sun peaked through the trees warming everything it touched.
As Ginny gathered her friends and family near the magnolia tree I felt very grateful. Being part of a group of people – both adults and children – appreciating the little things that help us grow was something very special and I was honored to be a part of it. It also allowed me to appreciate where I grew up just a little more – I think sometimes I take for granted that I have this beautiful island to call home... despite it’s traffic and quirky accents ;)
Here are some of my favorite moments from that day. Moments that I feel express both Grahame and Ginny’s excitement for life, community, and nature.
Enjoy and have a sweet day