""Blessings Strengthen life and feed life just as water does." Rachel Naomi Remen, MD

This blog is a digital blessing bowl, a place to record the small blessings that are often missed or forgotten but which make life holy. Feel free to add your own blessings to my blessing bowl. Or perhaps you'll be encouraged to start your own.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Comfort for the cold days of winter

In January I usually feel like this -
- spent and drained, knocked down by the cold and the shortened days.
It's the season for napping, sitting by the fire, and warming my spirit with comfort books.   Comfort books are those that feed my spirit, that have themes of hope.
My favorite comfort book this winter is "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I first read "The Secret Garden" when I read it aloud to my children when they were small.  The book is considered a childhood classic, but its message of hope is one for all ages.
The secret garden of the title is a place of healing for Mary and Colin, two children ailing in spirit and body.  When Mary first enters the garden in the cold of winter it appears lifeless, but with the help and encouragement of Dickon, a boy who seems to be one with everything in nature,  she begins digging and pruning and weeding.  As the garden comes to life so does Mary.  Mary and Dickon bring Colin into the garden and he, too, grows in strength and hope for his future.   Reading about the transformation of these children and the gradual coming to life of the garden reminds me that Spring will come, that there will be an end to the cold and the dark.
Near the end of the book, the children, along with a weathered old gardener and Dickon's mother, are in the garden.  Dickon is full of joy and thankfulness and the gardener, Ben Weatherstaff, suggests that they sing the Doxology.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

And I sing along with them.

A movie was made of "The Secret Garden" in 1993.  The trailer for the movie gives a short synopsis of the plot for those who aren't familiar with it.  If the trailer peaks your interest, read the book first, then see the movie.  Get to know Mary in your heart and your imagination before seeing someone else's portrayal of her.


Donna said...

one of my favorites and I love both movie versions..there is an older version from 1949 with Margaret O'Brien that is also lovely

Debra said...

I’ve always loved The Secret Garden. Abi and I read the book and then saw the movie together. It is a story of hope – one of my all-time favorites.
What a beautiful version of Doxology!

SJ said...

I have a very old copy of the secret garden that my nan gave to me when I was a little girl, I gave it to my son. This brought back some wonderful memories for me.