My Heart is a Secret Garden

🌺 Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high. 🌺

~William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Last week I began helping a friend create and tend to gardens in her yard. We picked out lavender, pink bleeding hearts, and some adorable little flowing flowers I can’t remember the name of.

Today we checked on our green babies and added herbs to her yard – flower boxes full of citronella, basil, and rosemary.

And I felt right at home.

I joke with the women I work with about how they get manicures and I show up to work with dirt under my cuticles. I love getting dirty – hiking in the woods and getting lost, planting herbs or salad plants, pruning my roses and turning the petals to rose water.

As a girl my sister and I wandered the woods in our neighborhood and those surrounding a local cemetery (more on that when I get around to sharing another ghost story!) for hours at a time. I’ve always appreciated the natural world around me, and find I feel most at home when my nails are dirty and my body is sore from too much sun.

Last fall, at the height of my depression I couldn’t being myself to buy mums. Every year I plant mums and hope they come back the following year. They never do, but each September I head to a flower shop and hope for the best. Not last year – I was so consumed by my mental sickness I couldn’t see the point in bringing the deepest purples, burnt oranges, and vibrant reds to my yard. I didn’t even look for the pre-potted ones that are all set to plop at the front door and call it “fall”.

Today, I listened to the robins chirp as they wrap up their search for worms because the sun began to set. I really paid attention. I focused on the warmth of the sun. The rays shining their last light on things they hadn’t yet seen. The way the rays somehow find a way to shine on an entire space at some point of the day – even if just for a little while.

And I feel alive. I am alive. I’m ready to get out and get dirty.

And it feels so good.

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