"The Secret Garden" - Welcoming any or all thoughts about this lovely book :-)

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marta1234

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Hope, I hope it’s ok for me to share my thoughts too, even if it is out of order from the discussion above.
I’m half way through reading the book, and what spoke to me was Mary’s description of the secret garden throughout the chapters. The description just blossoms and blossoms. And when I read it, I felt sad. I had long wished for that safety and pure love and happiness that the secret garden brought Mary. I would try to create that sense of belonging somewhere finally and feeling free of worries, in many areas of my childhood years. I would try to recreate the “secret garden” outside in our yard, under my desk, or through a wall that would lead to an imaginative world. But it did not work. As much as I used my imagination, it was the never the secret garden that Mary found.
And so when I read the pages full with description of flowers and seeds, and the birds and the trees, I mourn the place I never had in my life. A safe place. And although I can find one now, outside in the fresh air, its absence in my childhood really made a deep wound in me.

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Hope67

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Dear Marta,
It's definitely ok for you to share your thoughts, and I welcome any or all thoughts about this book, in whatever order they come to people, it's such a great book (in my opinion) and I have loved coming here to read what people write about their experiences.

What you wrote here about your feelings, is very touching emotionally - I feel what you wrote in my soul - it's difficult to describe the impact, but it's strong.

 :hug: to you Marta. 

Hope  :)

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woodsgnome

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Marta, I was very touched by the sad tone in what you wrote about The Secret Garden's effect on you. I also felt that way when I first read it, and later when I viewed the 1975 BBC-TV adaptation (the best one in my opinion).

I've read and watched it since, and each time its beautiful messages sink ever deeper into my being, and the lingering sadness about my own childhood begins to blend with satisfaction for the hopeful turn the book has begun to point me towards.

One point that resonated with me isn't so much that it turned Mary's life around, but that we all have our own secret gardens. No, they don't always need to be started from scratch. Indeed, this wasn't how Mary's originated either. The garden's base was already in the ground, and some of its key elements were still present, though some of it had become invisible; what Mary was really about was renewing the promise of her inner spirit, symbolized by the dying and/or dead plants -- tangled and confused just like her own life had become.

Slowly she found out about the old secret garden, and was further excited to learn that often old roots, shoots, and stems of certain species can even exist for years underground until, if tended to, they can be nurtured back to 'new' life above ground. They don't always need to be created from seed, but what's there can be renewed. The analogy with one's own spirit found made me realize anew that's what we're all trying to do -- renew ourselves.

In a way, we've all been tending our own inner gardens, taking what we can find and care for, then crafting them into new/old creations that can blossom and bloom. Even the tiniest suggestion of hope can surprisingly appear, as when Mary first hears Robin, and remarks, "that's a nice cheeful song; please sing it again ... please." This just after the lowest ebb in her still young existence.

Our "piece of earth" can take many final forms, if we allow ourselves to be on the lookout for new possibilities. So something else that struck me about the story was how it began to focus on the potential of each of our secret gardens. Or at least it did for me. For instance, Mary tells Dickon, "but let's not make it a perfect garden ..."; then it would become static, and she wanted to see what other beauty might emerge on its own. Plus the effect of it began to have a growing impact on every character in the story.

No question, I still grieve terribly that my younger parts didn't have an easy go. But Mary's chance didn't come along, either, until she found herself bitterly alone. More by instinct than design, she just quietly, carefully, and playfully went about growing things. For me, reading and seeing her experience has helped shift my perspective from dire helplessness to consider the possibility of hope, even if it shows up not as I expected. Mary had assumed the roses were all dead, until Dickon pointed out that they were 'wick' -- "still alive on the inside, as much as you and me."

For me, I'm trying to cultivate an attitude that even if remnants of my dead or decayed inner garden are still present, there's still 'wick' that I can find to renew my own long-lost inner garden. Maybe something better can grow from it after all.

I hope you too will find your life to be such a garden, whatever the current circumstances and state of hope (or its absence).

                  :bighug:

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Blueberry

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Here's a nice little clip of a robin https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-kent-53781320

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Not Alone

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Sweet.

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Hope67

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That clip of the robin and the relationship between him and the photographer, that you shared Blueberry, it's lovely, and also emotional to watch.  Thanks for sharing it.   :)
Hope  :)

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Blueberry

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After reading your post, Hope, I watched the clip again and felt more emotions this time around. So thank you for pointing that out :)   It was also lovely just to see and hear the robin and the garden and the bee and flower again. Pictures like that and birdsong too always do me good. Picturing and hearing that kind of thing in my mind is one of many attractions about The Secret Garden for me.

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woodsgnome

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Elsewhere on this forum I've mentioned the approach known as Bibliotherapy. Sometime the readings are planned, but often they are not. They can include  non-fiction, fiction and/or a mix. While occasionally they are specific to c-ptsd, this is usually not the case; but they can always be tied to aspects of it.

In my own therapy, Bibliotherapy may not be the main approach used, but it comes into play all the time. Both the T and myself have had our own ideas about the books that will be most relevant and/or useful to my issues. Perhaps it helps that I'm a voracious reader anyway, but the T has steered some of my choices and, of course, how we handle them in our therapy work.

Surprises have come along that way which have had a large impact in therapy. One that became vastly important was The Secret Garden. While I'd run across the title and story synopsis before, I began noticing references to it on OOTS from a few individuals who not only enjoyed it, but found it a useful read.

So I took a look and was blown away by how the storyline, plus the 1975 BBC-TV version (which can be found on YouTube), became a major factor in my therapy. This was a happy surprise for me -- I usually don't relate to fiction, but this one struck an obvious chord.

I'm still finding elements in both the book and film --the 1975 one; there have been others, a couple verging on awful and/or just lame. It's still the original storyline that seem like it speaks directly to circumstances that have affected me.

Enough -- I've already fleshed lots of this out in this thread. All I'm up to today is to share a poem my T came across recently that she said immediately reminded her of our therapy around the book and how it's affected me so deeply. During our last session she shared it with me and I'm doing the same here.

The poem is by David Whyte:

A garden inside me, unknown, secret,
neglected for years,
the layers of its soil deep and thick,
trees in the corners with branching arms
and the tangled briars like broken nets.
 
Sunrise through the misted orchard,
morning sun turns  silver on the pointed twigs,
I have woken from the sleep of ages and I
am not sure
if I am really seeing, or dreaming,
or simply astonished
walking toward sunrise
to have stumbled into the garden
where the stone was rolled from the tomb
of longing.

 

« Last Edit: April 11, 2021, 06:43:53 PM by woodsgnome »

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Hope67

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Pictures like that and birdsong too always do me good. Picturing and hearing that kind of thing in my mind is one of many attractions about The Secret Garden for me.

Hi Blueberry,
Yes, I agree with you.  I find the same thing - the pictures and hearing things in my mind, they are so evocative and I enjoy that too.

Hi Woodsgnome,
Wow, that poem by David Whyte is incredible - so apt for 'The Secret Garden' and the emotive aspects.  I love the way you flesh out threads by the way - really great.

I really like that poem. 

Hope  :)