Secret Garden

In the book, “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett the climax of this beautiful story for children is “The spell was broken, my uncle learned to laugh and I learned to cry”
This book is littered with phrases which are a delight for children, but which have messages of profound importance for those of us, like me who are wounded, emotionally or in other ways carry a hurt at the core of their existence which demands to be heard.

Many years ago as I read this story to my own children, and at that time being unable to articulate my hurt or consider how to deal with it, I was struck by the words in the above sentence which spoke strongly to me that if relationships are to change, often it requires a different response from each of us to meet in the present.

In the Secret Garden, the uncle, lord of Mistlethwaite Manor is racked in grief at the loss of his wife, some years earlier, and his niece, Mary Lennox, a recent orphan , sent to stay with her uncle,  feels unloved and unwanted.

It is Mary’s discovery of the Secret Garden, her opening of it and re-flowering of it, which opens up from within the hurt of all the characters, the space for reconciliation, the opportunity for healing of misunderstanding, and the possibility for hope and love.

On my journey, in which I have opened up my emotional life from within for scrutiny, care, understanding and love, I am now able to share the sentiment expressed by Frances Hodgson Burnett that “if you look closely, the whole world is a garden”

So, through my own journey to love what hurts, I have learnt to listen and and be silent and my wife is learning to speak and at last feel that she is being heard.

“The spell has been broken!”

My next blog will be: Pointing In

William Defoe

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