The Secret Garden

Once upon a time, not very long ago, the roomie and I took a stroll down Main Street. Along the way, we decided to investigate an old, red, brick house that was for sale just a few blocks from our flat.  A sign said the building was the first Davie County jail, and behind it there was proclaimed to be a Japanese garden. We crept around the house, admiring the screened in porch that begged for long summer nights filled with sweet tea, and the tiny red outhouse behind it.

Hmm. A path. Paths lined with shrubs are good. Sometimes they lead nowhere, or to boring places like a forties brick ranch house, or a chicken coop, or a pile of rusty old vehicles, but this one looked worth following, so we did.

And at the end, there was an arch, and if that wasn’t enough, it was covered with ivy! Please tell me I’m not the only one whose soul is completely enchanted with doorways leading to mysterious places, and ivy-covered walls and arches, and hidden, beautiful, undiscovered nooks. We stepped through the arch, and it was like we were in a different world, far away from the bustling Main Street we had just left.

Meandering paths lined with overgrown shrubs filled the fenced in garden. A stone bridge spanned a tiny pond with goldfish, and a lantern that looked for all the world like it belonged in Narnia appeared around a bend. An air of neglect gave the place a wild sort of beauty and mystery that carefully cultivated places cannot have.

Several times since then I have snuck back in there, hoping that this isn’t the time that I’m thrown out for trespassing. There are few things that delight me more than finding a hidden corner of beauty that I can claim for my own. As Jawaharial Nehru once said, “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”


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