My Secret Garden

I just finished reading The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I read it many years ago and don’t remember it being about positive thinking, but that’s what it is about now. How did that happen? As I read the story about three children working and playing in a secret garden, and coming alive and finding joy and health there, I was sad because my gardening days are over. I have a beautiful garden, and have enjoyed may hours there, watching things grow and being amazed at their beauty. But the energy to tend it has left me. When I finished the book I wondered what I could call my secret garden? Where could I go to rejuvenate and just be happy and joyful in the present moment watching things grow and come alive? (You really should read the book to know what I mean).
A few days later I got home from work and walked out onto my back porch. I took a look at my back yard playground and was overwhelmed with a realization, “That’s my secret garden!” It hit me like a rock. That playground is a place I can watch my grandchildren grow and learn and play and come alive. I didn’t build it to please them, I built it for me – so I could enjoy their laughter, creativity, and pure fun. That’s news to me.  A few weeks ago my grandson said, “Grandma, come watch us play!” I told him I couldn’t play right now because I was getting dinner ready. He said, “I didn’t ask you to play with us, I asked you to watch us play.” That was important to him. And now it’s important to me – to just watch them travel through life. Not judging, just watching them play. In my secret garden. I’m thinking life itself is a secret garden. Don’t you just love metaphor?
Here’s an experpt from the book (page 282):  So long as Colin shut himself up in his room and thought only of his fears and weakness and… reflected hourly on humps and early death, he was a hysterical, half-crazy little hypochondriac who knew nothing of the sunshine and spring, and also did not know that he could get well and stand upon his feet if he tried to do it.  When new, beautiful thoughts began to push out the old, hideous ones, life began to come back to him, his blood ran healthily through his veins, and strength poured into him like a flood….Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable thought comes into his mind, just has the sense to remember in time and push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly couraeous one. Two things cannot be in one place.
                                                              Where you tend a rose, my lad
                                                              A thistle cannot grow.

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