Editor’s Note: Play Isn’t Just for Kids…

As children, no one had to tell us to go play. We just did it. We rode bikes, pretended a fallen tree in a forest was the portal to Narnia, and gathered on summer nights for sweaty games of manhunt. Then we grew up, and somewhere along the way play got downgraded to a frivolous pursuit while productivity became the brass ring on the carousel we no longer had time to ride. Yet, researchers now tell us recreational activities come with some serious perks. In our cover story, “Pards at Play,” we look at reasons why we should all add fun to our to-do lists (it actually makes us more productive) and feature seven Pards who understand the importance of taking a grown-up timeout to nurture their inner child.

Even the Marquis de Lafayette cultivated the wisdom of play as portrayed on the cover tending to the Lafayette rose, which was named in his honor when he returned to America for his Farewell Tour in 1824-25.

His passion for horticulture first bloomed after he visited his old friend and military commander George Washington at Mount Vernon in 1784, according to author Laura Aurrichio in Transplanting Liberty: Lafayette’s American Garden. Washington was far from an ordinary farmer, and it wasn’t long before Lafayette began shipping back plants and trees to France for use at his 700-acre estate, La Grange. In a letter to his wife, Adrienne, he wrote, “I have discovered here a climbing plant, always green, that will yield a marvelous effect on the two walls of our terrace.”

In one year alone, he purchased 6,500 trees—chestnut, maple, ash, and poplar, as well as apple and pear trees, native to the U.S., for his estate. He also planted cabbage, turnips, barley, oats, beans, and wheat. Reading about plants and gardening on the grounds of La Grange is where Lafayette found solace and happiness, byproducts of doing what one loves. So it’s only fitting a special magenta rose was planted in his honor at the Wyck House in Germantown, Pa., when he visited there in 1825. The Lafayette rose also grows in President Alison Byerly’s garden, a gift upon her inauguration in 2013 from the late Bob Jones ’42. It’s a good reminder that making time to play is an important ingredient in growing happiness.

So do something that nourishes your soul this summer, if not in the name of play then self-care. That kid inside will thank you.



Kathleen Parrish P’17 P’20
Creative Editor