Wednesday, July 17, 2013


For the last few weeks the blogger program has not been working. I am trying to catch up. Below is an article that will come out in a special summer issue of the Michaeleen.

The Secret Garden or Is It The Garden’s Secret?

Author, Frances Hodgson Burnett, penned a wonderful story about a young girl, Mary Lennox, her unknown cousin, Colin and a garden. Burnett carefully wove this story around the power that a garden can bring forth in its ever potential to grow and become an incredible thing of beauty.

In the 1990s, The Secret Garden, made it to Broadway and its musical settings have intrigued me ever since.

Gardens are, indeed, wonderful places. Even sometimes when they are neglected! But what is just one aspect that is wonderful is: the incredible power and energy that can be found there. Soil and seeds and plants are potentials to teach us all many lessons.

Over the years of my life, I have always been involved with a garden or garden work. Long before I came to Mount Michael, I was already creating gardens and worked in them. This was all a very natural thing for me, perhaps one could say that it was just in my blood.

So when I came to Mount Michael, I was most willing to work with the soil and seeds and plants. I have kept a few photos over the years of different flower beds and gardens that we have had here at Mount Michael. It is fun to go back and look at the gardens of former times, or to come to the realization of how much more I have learned about gardening over the years.

Not so long ago there was a young man who lived with us from Lithuania. His name is Tomas Butvilas. Tomas knew a lot about gardening and wanted to help in the garden the year he was here. He used to tell me that I should always work without shoes in the garden—to get my feet as close to the soil as possible. Of course, I sorta grew up that way and going barefoot in the garden was not a foreign thing for me. But I have never forgotten this bit of advice.

The garden in Burnett’s story is seen as being curative and healing, especially for Mary Lennox’s cousin, Colin. I must say that I, too, believe there is something very healthy about being close to the soil and striving to make things grow.

Indeed, gardens are great places and they can produce much—even good health!

Come out to the Farmers Market on Saturdays and you will be able to see how the garden of Mount Michael is doing these days.

The Portal of the Mystery of Hope

by Charles Peguy

If it were from limpid day that she made limpid days.

If it were with souls, with clear water that she made her springs.

From clear water that she made clear water.

If it were from pure souls that she made pure souls,

Heavens, that would be nothing. Anyone could do as much,

And there would be nothing secret to it.

But it’s from sullied water, old water, stale water.

But it’s from an impure soul that she makes a pure soul and

that’s the most beautiful secret in the whole garden of the world.

                                        This is a small garden in itself -- it is all wild flowers -- it is dedicated to                                                                 Mary Lennox and her new found cousin -- Colin!                 

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