The Secret Garden

By on May 28, 2012

In ‘The Secret Garden’, we find hurt and neglected souls finding new life and joy in the miracle of rebirth.

Mary Lennox was not loved by her parents and grew to be an obstinate, angry young girl. The reflection of this lack of affection was seen in her sallow, thin appearance topped by a solemn expression causing other children to chant, ‘Mary, Mary quite contrary….’

Following the death of her parents, Mary is shipped off to an unfamiliar land – from hot and dry India to cold and rainy England. There, she is met by the kindhearted Martha, a housemaid tasked to look after Mary, who first begins to reach the untilled soil of Mary’s heart. Mary finds herself off alone exploring in a large estate with a vast garden. Martha’s mother, Mrs. Sowersby, in an inspired moment, purchases a jumping rope – to encourage the child to get healthy exercise in the fresh outdoors.

As spring arrives, Mary learns of a secret – locked garden that no one has entered in ten years. She knew somewhere there was the key and the only occupant was a sweet red-breasted Robin.

Miracles and Magic begin to occur when following the Robin, she finds the key to the garden and later finds the door behind swaying and draping vines.

Inside this forlorn garden, Mary finds the hope of life in the shape of crocus pocking through the grass-covered soil.

Mary’s discovery and softening heart leads to the unraveling of tangled vines that choked the life and love out of a disillusioned father and an angry-bewildered child.

A lost love – causes a man, Archibald Craven, to shut his heart to the world he knew and to his new born infant, Colin, – he becomes a wanderer in beautiful lands and the serenity and peace is lost to him because of his broken heart.

Neglected and thought ill and cripple, Colin’s heart and temper are at the mercy of a household filled with staff, a doctor to care for him without the loving-tender arms of a mother or approval of a father. Depths of despair and loneliness cause this young boy to express himself in fits of temper.

Three hearts broken by life’s unfortunate circumstances find rebirth and hope in the Miracle and Magic of renewed life in a secret garden – a space once the center of love, laughter and beauty.

One small key opened the door to the Magic and Miracle of redemption, love and joy in the lives of the characters found in the novel written by Frances Hodges Burnett’s story, ‘The Secret Garden’.

My ‘tea’ today is in honor of Martha’s and Dickon’s mother, Mrs. Sowerby,- in her thoughtful gift of fresh milk and buns to encourage the young children to eat well and keep their secret…

My favorite character is Dickon’s and Martha’s mother – who is seen as a wonderful example of an intuitive, loving mother. In ‘The Secret Garden’ and now I am reading ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’,

I hear the voice love a loving mother. Frances wrote out of necessity to provide for her family and greatly loved her sons who at different times were both ill – one losing his life. Yet, in these books you find the heart of a woman who loved children, understood the need for nurturing, laughter and love as well as the joy found in the wonder of living as demonstrated in the beauty of the garden.

statue created by Besse Potter Vonnoh 1936

Frances’ own garden is said to have been the inspiration for the story as well as her love for her ill son.

Francis’ life and story is honored by a statue of Mary and Dickon in Central Park’s Conservatory Garden, New York.

 

Originally posted on A Delightsome Life.

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The Secret Garden