pages from the secret garden

Every year for the past eight years, I have had the very good fortune to take a weekend and retreat to my dear friend June’s secret garden. Each time I find myself there, I am transported to where, I cannot say, but each moment is precious. I returned home yesterday, and thought I would share some of the pages written while in this garden. Just a little taste of what I wrote, but hopefully you will get the feel for how the garden is for me.


Friday evening pages

Night has just fallen
The doves sleep quietly
In the trees
Love in your embrace

Saturday morning pages

Where the water dances
With the fountain,
Falling over itself
To reach the rim of existing
Only to plunge into the deep pool below
We sit together
Embraced by trees and trailing vine
Held still by cicada song
Waiting for the next breath

Sunday morning pages

In the secret garden here, there’s a chance, sometimes to meet unexpected people, lone raindrops and fairies sitting serenely around bends in the garden path. A dove shooed me out of bed this morning. I tried to ignore but her coos would grow louder the longer I languished in my bed. I sat with her earlier, while steam rose up from my tea, and she told me secrets. The cardinal arrived to sit above me after the dove moved on to fill her belly. She has been flying continuously the entire length of the garden to eat at the feeder. She is tireless and always full of conversation as she passes between nibbles. Her mate comes rarely. It is just us girls here so far.

One fat raindrop fell onto my book this morning with a loud splat. It fell in the center of the page and spread out with little legs gripping the page. I had asked moments before, what should I write about this morning? It seems that this raindrop and its surprise entrance is the answer.

I think the rain will soon fall on me. I felt the shift just now, the air is heavier. Oh! Another drop fell and this one startled me. It fell with a loud thump, like the wack of a zen stick. Pay attention now. The corner of the book is soaked now by this one lone drop. Imagine if thousands suddenly fell…


morning displays the garden
dressed in tiny drops of rain
bright blossoms
wearing silver jewels
fern leaves bow in passing
walking along the garden path
delicate steps among the ivy and trailing vine
while the cardinals and sparrows sing


clouds gather
and the sky darkens to a rumble
shaking the house
I am waiting for her arrival
Instead, I’m met by Silence
Who holds a mirror
To my heart
For the sky to reflect
In the smaller spaces
I am writing
In cracks between
The stones along the path
Waiting now
For the storms to pass

Monday morning pages

Gabrielle and Samantha have named the cardinal Delilah. Every time we are in the garden, Delilah flies to greet us. Finally she brought her mate, having reassured him that we would do no harm. A red squirrel interrupted briefly by helping herself to the peanuts that we left. She chattered greetings as she darted away through the phlox and butterfly bush.

I did not sleep last night. The night was filled with fierce storms. I waited for the dove to wake me but I think she sensed I already was. In a nap earlier, a dream left me wondering. I have no words for what gift the dream gave me. Maybe they will come as they day unfolds itself.


Hibiscus bloom falls
Down among the river stones
Coral against grey


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