- MY SECRET GARDEN -
Make your way over the green turfs of the golf course, towards the back end; cross the river and then a stream, walk a ways through the trees, and you will find the secret garden.
"Don't get your feet wet."
"I think it is better to cross here, there are a few stepping stones."
I was fifteen when I was first taken to the garden. Nobody knew who kept it in good condition - who had cut the lawns, or put up the rope swing. The garden path ran alongside the river, dipping in and out of small dells filled with mossy lawns and tall trees. Human hands had been at work there, yet it seemed somehow natural, without flowerbed or symmetry to ruin the organic designs of those weaving walkways. It was as if a spirit had walked there, and in its wake lay a trail of dead leaves, cutting through the archways of bush and fern.
The discovery of that garden, by my young friends, must have been a happy chance indeed. For who would know to walk that far into the woods, behind a large golf course... Only children would venture so far. Those were the days where we walked a lot. Without cars, without cares, without bedtimes.
I went back to the garden many times, and even found a garden of my own - much nearer to my house. This garden was an open dell, by the riverside, and placed there by some unknown hand was a stone plinth. I spent a lot of time wandering these gardens, pondering the magic of such hidden places.
Later, I carefully crafted small plaques to let others know of the magic that dwelt there - in the gold course garden, and by the river. The plaques were of brass, and the messages were somewhat cryptic, but who would even see them? The fairies? It turns out, secret gardens are visited by many wandering souls...
The plaque on the plinth reads:
Look around, find something special and place it here.
To this date, I have found many special things on that plinth:
A round rock, broken in two halves.
A rusted key.
A piece of papery bark, from an shedding tree.
An old shoe.
A drying fern.
These new discoveries never cease to delight me, when I visit. It is as if I am communicating with the unseen visitors. They know what I know: that these gardens are something special, in and of themselves.