Yesterday I decided that I’m somewhat obsessed by “secrets”…secret doors, secret pockets, whispered secrets, my friends secrets, and Santa’s secrets. I want to know the secret, the truth, and then I want to tell someone. I had a secret hideaway when I was young, in my room. In the back of my closet, I carved out a special spot for snacks, books and a flashlight. I read with my stolen cheese and Tang from the fridge. I also had a secret spot out behind my garage to store my neighbor’s strawberries picked on summer mornings. My best friend and I found new locations in my house in a cool basement cave where we’d read the dictionary, for exotic new words like sensual, archipelago and amour. We’d sit for hours in the summer heat, side by side, whispering, reading and writing together. A book that caught us in it’s snare was the Secret Garden a story of a sallow, sorry character named Mary who is changed by the magic of the secret garden and being loved for the first time in her life. We envisioned the melancholy moor, the joy of her first friend and the sad, secret garden, being brought back to life. That is where my obsession with secrets was born.
I desperately wanted that secret garden my whole life…but surprisingly…I have no talent with dirt and growing things, or patience. I do remember those dreams of my youth… of a walled green ivy fence growing around me, the roses and the smells of new spring plants and fall’s dying treasures. We fenced in our yard this summer to keep our son’s spirited puppy inside. Today I walk our garden with my Ben Weatherstaff who has created our special secret garden…34 years… of us weeding and loving together. I realize the truth… that the garden of my life needs continual pruning, planting and transplanting to make sense…and that secrets should be shared with those that you love.
The Secret Garden was written in 1911 by Frances Hodgson Burnett, imagine …the truth contained in all the pages…still relevant today, still waiting to be discovered by a little girl curled up with a fresh book in her hand.