The ultimate secret garden (posted on location)

I had to add this secret garden at Wellesley College, in the same areas as the others, noted in the previous post. This one is up a small hill from the path, under small and large fir trees. They frame tiny and beautiful waterfall, spilling from the rocks.

When I saw it, I knew I had to share it while on location. Nature meets technology and it’s a peaceable kingdom for a change.

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wellesley college secret garden waterfall2

Where is your secret garden? What is it like? What do you like to do there?

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How I run away from home … for lunch! The secret gardens of Wellesley College

Sometimes you just want to run away from home. It’s not that home’s so bad. In fact, home is great! But the warm autumn weather beckons, tinged with a crisp breeze, and it carries you away to beautiful places.

In my quest to get to the local CVS during lunch to pick up a pound of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, the pristine day led me to nearby Wellesley College and one of my favorite places, behind the Botany Building where my mom used to work, in the secret gardens.

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I made a mental note that I must bring a notebook with me the next time I come here and plant myself in one of these little outdoor rooms and scribble away.

My favorite author and writing muse, Louisa May Alcott, wrote of her longing for a room of her own. Finally nearing her teens, her parents gave her one with a door leading out to the garden where she could “run away from home” whenever she liked.

Louisa May Alcott in her own room, illustration by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard
Louisa May Alcott in her own room, illustration by Flora Smith from The Story of Louisa May Alcott by Joan Howard

Louisa also loved writing in apple trees, crunching on crisp, juicy apples:

"I write best up in the apple tree"; illustration by Flora Smith.
“I write best up in the apple tree”; illustration by Flora Smith.

So I thought of Louisa in her apple tree when I saw this pine:

wellesley college secret garden8

I loved this little “room” created by fir bushes, complete with a little door:

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The view outside the room was equally lovely:

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A grape arbor with flat stones for a bench:

wellesley college secret gardens of the heart2

A stone bench dedicated to a loved one as a place to remember loved ones:

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All this just a short walk from my office. Does “home” get any better than this?

Made me think of a song by Judy Collins:

And if I hadn’t taken that detour to the college, I wouldn’t have noticed that a new Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins store has opened in Wellesley Square. I was able to get my pound of coffee for less money, and use the savings to get my favorite iced mocha with cream and sugar. 🙂

I can’t wait for the next time when I can “run away from home.” And I’ll be sure and take a notebook next time.

Do you have any secret gardens near your office or home?

Where do you like to steal away for the loveliness of quiet and solitude?

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Greetings from the Beyond

Today is my mother’s third anniversary of passing into a better place (which I firmly believe is Heaven). Today God granted me a great consolation, a gift that I never expected to receive.

Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

You may recall the last post I wrote about Work: A Story of Experience where I reiterated the religious importance of this autobiographical novel by Louisa May Alcott.  I was moved by the consolation Christie Devon received as described in chapter 19, “Little Hearts-Ease.” She heard husband David’s “voice” as the breeze blew near his flute.

I wrote about similar experiences when my mother passed away.

Today, April 22 marks the third year anniversary of my mother’s passing. God gifted me with the most exquisite greeting from my mother today, a greeting that I believe Louisa would have greatly appreciated.

I had mentioned my mother’s affiliation with Wellesley College, first as a Botany major, and then as a laboratory assistant in the  Botany department. As a child she picked wild flowers in the woods with her older sister Meredith. Her father maintained a splendid English garden at the old homestead…

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Step by Step

The temperature outside was 10 degrees with a wind chill of -11. And I still went out for  my lunch time walk. When I returned, the office manager and real estate agent on duty applauded.

I felt like applauding myself. Never in a million years did I think I would ever find myself walking in such cold weather.

Now I feel like I can do anything!

And it taught me the lesson of Step by Step. Working at something each day. Experiencing success on an incremental level. Sometimes the successes are so small, they go unnoticed. Until one day when you walk in bone-chilling weather and you enjoy it!

Walking has been an odyssey.

Walking has been a teacher.

Walking has introduced and reacquainted me with something and Someone that I love.

crocs383595_211479_lgcougar bootIt began with achy legs and bad feet being introduced to the perfect shoe, the
Mercy Croc.

It continues with the perfect boot, the Cougar Cheyenne Bootie.

It began with walking a few short feet and feeling like I was dragging a ball and chain behind me (not to mention the aching back). Now I walk over three miles and feel exhilarated.

It’s turned Spring, Summer and Fall into glorious excursions into beautiful places filled with hidden messages. It’s transformed Winter from a season I dreaded to a season I rejoice in.

Today I walked the familiar trail to Wellesley College and took pictures. I just loved comparing the seasons:

Fall and Winter trees at Wellesley College
Fall and Winter trees at Wellesley College
A ring of leaves is replaced with snow.
A ring of leaves is replaced with snow.
It's interesting what you see when the leaves are no longer there - Wellesley College tower.
It’s interesting what you see when the leaves are no longer there – Wellesley College tower.
Warm or cold, the ducks are still here.
Warm or cold, the ducks are still here.

And of course, the “Be As One” bridge:

The stone bridge, still just as pretty in winter.
The stone bridge, still just as pretty in winter.

I feel so grateful today.

Grateful for my accomplishments. Grateful for insights. Grateful for my Companion, always there, granting me blessings (often without my asking for them, as in the Mercy Crocs and boots), providing the “eyes” to see, and now, the feet to walk. Empowering me so I can be the way He meant me to be.

Step by Step works for walking. I’m learning how to apply it to writing. I’d say as a writer, I can walk a mile. I’m looking forward to the day when I can walk several, when I can write lots of words and assemble them into a book.

I’d better keep walking.

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