Marianne Howatson


In October 2009, as the recession howled around us, I purchased Cottages & Gardens Publications- luxury, design magazines distributed in America’s most affluent communities and beloved for their unique “sense of place.”

While looking for a name for my company I turned to Kenneth Grahame’s much loved classic The Wind in the Willows and in Chapter Five entitled “Dulce Domum,” I found it. Dulce Domum (Duhl-cheh dome-um) means “sweet home” and if ever there was a period in our history when our “sweet homes” meant so much to us, it is now. The principal characters in the book are talking animals that live in and around a river and while they all have their faults, display charming examples of hospitality, forgiveness, compassion, generosity, and humility.

At the end of Chapter Five the weary mole returns to his old home, down under, after having spent time in the upper world on the riverbank: “He did not at all want to abandon the new life and it’s splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, and he knew he must return to the larger stage.

But it was good to think he had this to come back to; this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome.”

My wish is that our readers find comfort, sanctuary and inspiration in our pages as well as fulfillment and joy in the charity events and outreach which we champion in our communities.

Background image © Ariadria Bufi.