Gary’s May Gems – Finding the Key to Our Secret Garden
I’m already missing my “secret garden”. Spring came early this year. We wasted no time in opening our windows to welcome her. We also welcomed the sound of birds calling out to whatever females were in range, “pick me, pick me.” They’ve yet to succumb to dating apps.
Winter failed in her attempt to make one last farewell tour. Minutes after making her entrance, she melted into a puddle and was swept away by April showers. The neighbourhood is bursting with life; spring flowers reach for the sun, families venture out for fun and everyone seems to be out for a run.
During the first summer of the pandemic, my secret garden was my refuge. It was my vacation destination. Flights were always non-stop between my room and my destination. Due to extensive renovations being done to our building this year, the garden will be hidden away behind scaffolding.
But I know it will be there for me next year.
A less obvious reason is it brings to mind the classic children’s story, The Secret Garden. Although it’s been many years since I read the book, it still influences how I view nature and how nature and magic are not mutually exclusive. We wonder at magic, always looking for the wizard behind the curtain. But there is still much to wonder about nature. Although we like to think we’ve unravelled her multitudes of knots, there’s much to reveal and much that will remain mysterious.
In the book, a robin seems to magically show Mary the key that unlocks the door to the secret garden which has been closed for so long, most people have forgotten it ever existed. As the story progresses, the garden is above all, a symbol of renewal. Mary, and her cousin Colin, both of whom have been emotionally abused throughout their young lives, find comfort in reconnecting to the natural world. Like the garden’s long-dead roses, that with care and attention, bloom again, Mary and Colin’s essential natures reemerge. And their laughter spreads out from the garden and brightens the halls of the dark manor and the souls of its inhabitants.
Nature heals. The natural and dependable cycle of life gives us hope and stability when our lives may seem anything but stable. As we brace for wave after wave of COVID infections to crash on our shores, I return to what I wrote in last May’s gardening issue of the Gems.
“Spring brings hope. This year, we would benefit from it coming more sooner than later. Whenever it does come, embrace it. Walk into the sunshine and if you can, get your hands dirty. Feel the earth, smell it. It will ground you during this time of disruption where everything we thought we knew about what was “normal” has been changing every day.”
How prescient was that?
There’s comfort in knowing that the world continues to spin, the sun continues to shine. Nature takes it all in stride because we are one with her.
So, what do I do this season without my secret garden?
Fortunately on the other side – the front of our home, there’s a beautiful courtyard that is handsomely landscaped. In the spring we have the beauty and intoxicating scent of apple blossoms. I mean, really. Is there anything more inspirational than sunlight flickering through blossom-bound branches?
So for this year, I’ll tend to my indoor garden and take some time to walk about the courtyard chatting with neighbours. (From a safe distance, of course.) And it’s fine not to have an answer for everything. We need to make room for magic. And the secret garden is mine.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~ Roald Dahl
“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever.” - Alfred Lord TennysonClick To Tweet
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