I’m still recovering from Rowan’s stomach bug that he shared with me over the weekend. There still is a lot of activity going on from after breakfast until nearly my bedtime with classes, rehearsals, errands, and projects these days. With the exception of not having enough downtime to rest my body, I do like the coming and going during these cold days. It forces all of us to zip up with our heaviest coats and head outdoors. Even on slower days the girls know that usually in the late afternoon it’s time to suit up for play outside.
It sounds so obvious that it is refreshing and renewing outdoors but it magically is. The crisp outdoors turned a selfish Mary Lennox from the Secret Garden into a playful, rosy-cheeked little girl. And the outdoors did even more for Colin, the sickly boy that stayed shut up in his room, preparing to die someday.
There is a lot that the wonderful story of the Secret Garden has done for this houseful of mostly girls. Of course there are daily attempts at a thick Yorkshire accent but I see the effects in their play. I see them mimic the charm of Dickon, the animal whisperer, as they’ve all adopted golden, plastic birds from the ornament box as pets that they care for day and night. I’ve seen them act out being maids and scrubbing my windows, with Caroline in charge or keeping tabs on them as head maid. I’ve seen them seek out a secret place of their own, in the meadow a little ways off, that is untouched by humans and could very easily become their secret garden. And I’ve seen it in the humble changes that can come when you listen to the life of a stubborn little girl and then hear her soften throughout the story: I see that softening many of us stubborn girls.
We like getting lost in the story of Mary and Colin and Dickon. It stays on our minds while we do and go and live our lives in our modern ways. But I like that. We live one foot on solid, tangible earth and the other, on the softened earth of Mary’s garden.
the sleepy time gal