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  • Jodie Mae

Where Wonder Blooms

There was once a young girl, quite a spoiled, foul-tempered girl who lived in India with her Army Captain father and her frivolous mother. As her parents found her too hideous and tiresome to look after, they paid her no mind and placed her under the care of their servants. A tragedy suddenly occurs where half the town and her parents are killed and she is sent to live with her only living relative, her uncle in his Yorkshire Mansion in England. Unbeknownst to her, her uncle experienced his own tragedy, losing his wife in a tragic accident. Since then he was never the same, therefore spent many months away from home. The young girl is then again placed into the care of a housekeeper. A very mean, bitter woman who despises her. However not everyone in the mansion was mean, she received warmth and kindness from the housekeeper's assistant, who with her Yorkshire charm, took care of the young girl, slowly reeling her out of her selfish shell.

One day, the young girl was sent outside to explore her uncle's property. While out, with the guidance of a local robin, through untamed vines she discovers a locked door to a mysterious garden, a garden which belonged to her aunt. She recalls finding a key in a jewellery box as she was rummaging through one of the many rooms in the mansion. The next day she comes back with the key using it to successfully open the door. To her amaze, the garden instantly became her sanctuary - she felt the beauty of what this place was once and could be again. What she didn't realise at that time was it not only opened the door to a garden but it opened a door to self-discovery, selflessness, love and friendship. Soon after she befriends the assistant maid's brother who has a gentle touch with all things living and together they start restoring the garden to its former glory.

One night she finds the source of the plaintive crying she hears in the mansion from time to time that everyone else pretends not to hear. The crying came from a boy, her cousin to be exact, shut up in an opulent bedchamber. The young boy was born shortly after his mother's death and his father cannot bear to look at him as he reminds him of his late wife. The boy had been bedridden since he was born and it is believed he will become a hunchback and die an early death. His servants have been commanded by his father to obey his every whim, leading him to become spoiled and imperious as a result. A lot like the young girl when she first arrived at the mansion. Witnessing this, the young girl makes it her mission to help him be a normal boy. She along with her friend decide to take her cousin into the Secret Garden to make him feel. After spending some time together in their special place the young boy's health miraculously starts to improve: the secret garden, fresh air, and the company of their friend brings upon him the same rejuvenating effect as it had on the young girl. Every day the young boy kept getting better, and the children enjoyed being children.

If this story sounds familiar, then I'd say you're spot on! As it's the heartwarming classic tale of "The Secret Garden" - one of my favourite books (and movie) as a child and of all time. This enchanting tale vividly shows the truth on how love can heal and nurture the most barren souls. To me this garden is an act of symbolism of the young girl and her cousin - lost, unloved, & neglected. But once someone showed them love and believed in them they started to flourish just like the garden.

Interesting fact: The Secret Garden is real and was the inspiration of the classic tale. From 1898 to 1907 author Frances Hodges Burnett lived in a mansion called Great Maythem Hall located in Kent, England and still exists today! Frances found an old, walled garden on the grounds of the mansion that had been neglected for a very long time. Frances restored the garden, planting lots of different roses. She sat in her garden to do her writing and made friends with a robin she came across there. The robin reportedly fed from her hand. The walled and forgotten garden, the abundant roses and the friendly robin all appear in her book.

Many people learn something from The Secret Garden. I learned not to shut myself from the outside world as there are endless possibilities and most importantly hope! To encourage you to see the colour of the world I leave you with a quote from the book:

"If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world's a garden."

Thanks for reading! Comment below to share your favourite childhood story.


Gardens by the Bay - Conservatory Cloud Forest


Dress: Aje or suggest; Bag: Cult Gaia; Shoes: Sol Sana; Earrings: Mezi or similar


Garden brunch or lunch

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