Kimberly's Secret Garden

 


(by Jo Anzalone  8-5-1996  for my first grandchild)

 

 

     Slowly Kimberly opened the door. It was light and opened

easily at her touch for it was made of very thin strips of

willow, woven together like a basket. Blue morning glory vines

had crossed its hinges, spreading over it a covering of green

leaves and sky-colored blossoms. In the center of the door, a

heart-shaped opening had been left by its weaver. Even though

the door led to Kimberly's most special place, there was no lock,

nor key. Kimberly wanted it to be so, for she came many times

each day through the door. She wanted it light and easily

opened, with no fuss or bother.


    She smiled to herself in happy anticipation, two dimples

appearing on her smooth cheeks. The long, full skirt of her

white cotton dress brushed against her ankles as she stepped

across the threshold. An early June breeze caught the wide

ruffle of white lace at her round, scooped neckline, lifting it

like the petals of a flower. About her waist was a wide, blue

satin ribbon, whose long ends hung like streamers down her

white skirt. Her hair fell in loose waves to her hips, and atop

her head she word a crown of daisies she had fashioned that

morning.


    Inside the door was a narrow path, covered with sweet-

smelling cedar chips, which led off to her right in a gentle

curve. It was lined on both sides with low borders of forget-

me-nots, their tiniest of blue flowers brilliant in the light. The

light was always brighter on this side of the door, so all the

colors glowed and seemed fuller and richer. Yet, at the same

time, there was a softness to the light, blending any sharp edges

into a flowing harmony of form. Behind the forget-me-nots

were clumps of baby's breath, their airy white blossoms looking

very much like lace. Backing them were pink roses, then pale

lavender lilacs. The garden was filled with the mingled perfume

of lilac and roses and Kimberly closed her eyes, breathing in the wondrous aroma.

     Everything was so beautiful here. The gentle breeze caressed

her cheeks and seemed to whisper, "I'm so glad you're here." She

smiled again, her heart filling with a great happiness. This was

where she belonged. This was her home.


    She watched the fluttering dance of four small white

butterflies above the blue forget-me-nots. A larger, yellow

butterfly sat on the highest pink rose as though it were a

throne. Kimberly laughed happily and said, "Oh, dear, sweet

butterfly, how wise you are to choose that for your throne.

The satin smoothness of pink petals is much better than the

hardness of richest gold."  Then she stood in silence so she

could hear the sound of the butterfly's slowly moving wings.

From the rose garden, over the baby's breath, across the forget-

me-nots, it came softly to her listening ears, "ho-ly, ho-ly, h0-ly."

She was so thankful that her ears had learned to listen beyond

the realm of hearing so that she could be aware of all the hidden

voices in her garden. Kneeling next to the forget-me-nots, she

heard their song like the tiniest of tinkling bells..."Never forgotten...never forgotten." This was their song inside her

garden. She knew that forget-me-nots outside her garden sang

a different tune..."Don't forget me...don't forget me." The song

of the baby's breath had no words, its melody being made of

low, contented murmurings. The roses sang of the joy of being

lifted up on strong stems into the morning light, while the

clusters of lilacs nodded their lavender heads together, repeating

a single-note song, "Peace...peace...peace...peace." All the songs

blended into one harmonious choir in Kimberly's ears. She

breathed the mingled fragrances as she listened, and thought

of how the blue and white and pink and lavender rows of

flowers, each taller than the one in front of it, made their own symphony of color.

 
     Following the little path around its curve she came to a

flat area of emerald green grass with a small pond to her left.

Beyond the pond was a low, rocky hill shaded by a pink

magnolia tree in full bloom. A clear stream cascaded down

the rocks between the ferns and ivy, its series of little waterfalls making a gurgle that always sounded to her like laughter.

There was something so happy, so joyous about the water as it

splashed from rock to rock, bouncing its way down the slope.

Kimberly sat on the largest of the flat rocks that edged the pool

and dangled the fingers of her right hand in its cool water. Two

large goldfish with long, fan-like tails lived in the pond. The

pale creamy yellow one she called Moonglow swam over and

touched her hand with its nose. Soon Sunset, a deep golden fish

with tones of red, joined them and the bubbles they made rose

to the surface of the pond, popping open and spreading out in

little ripples that sang, "Rejoicing... rejoicing." She fed them

bread crumbs from her  pocket, then getting to her feet, walked

in her white satin slippers with blue ribbon ties to a young

willow tree, where a white birdhouse  with a pink roof hung

on a low branch. Tiny wrens fluttered in and out of the round entrance, carrying bits of dried grass for their nest. She held

out her hand and one of the wrens hopped onto her finger,

cocking its head and singing a sweet song of the contentment

of making a home in this garden. Kimberly lightly stroked the

top of its head and said, "Thank you, little friend," before the

wren went back to its nesting.


     A few steps away there was a bench made of small

branches fitted together in an intricate design.  Daffodils

by the hundreds spread their yellow-skirted flowers beside it,

while not far behind it was a graceful arbor dripping with

ripe purple grapes. In Kimberly's garden it was both springtime

and harvest, for all the growing seasons were there together.

She sat on the bench and thought about this as her gaze rested

on a large white rosebush with clusters of lavender crocus all

about its base. Only in this garden could crocus and rose bloom together. Only here did grapes hang ripely beside the daffodils.

All the flowers, all the fruit, all together.


     She heard the soft whisper of footsteps crossing the grass

and, without turning her head, smiled, knowing Who it was. It

was for this that she came into her secret garden so many times

each day, sometimes staying there for hours. A large form,

dressed in purest white, settled down on the bench beside her.

 

Kimberly turned her head then, looking up into a face radiant

with beauty.  All the songs in the garden flowed toward that

face, finding in it their reason and their source, their purpose

and their destination. Being here with Him was all that mattered.

He enfolded her small hand tenderly inside His large one and

grace and glory flooded through her. His love for her wrapped

around her like a cape and she could feel the warmth of it in

all her being. How safe she felt, how full of joy and hope and

wonder.


     This secret garden, this garden where flowers sang and

waters laughed, was inside of Kimberly's heart.  This garden

was where she came to meet with Him. This was His garden,

planted in her by Him, watered and cared for by Him. Its

flowers bloomed because of His presence, its vines bore fruit

because He was there. Kimberly had made the door to her

garden light, quickly opened, and covered with morning

gloried beauty so she could come and go wtih ease. But as she

sat beside Him on the bench, her hand in His, His radiant face

smiling down at her with such understanding and love, she

knew that even such a door as that was too much. Surely it

was not made of thick oaken planks nor heavy bars of iron,

but, yes, it WAS still a door, and a door, by its very nature,

can be shut. She felt a strength flowing into her through His

hand, a strength to will only what He willed. As His strength

and love rose up and up through her, Kimberly opened her

mouth and said, "My Lord, will You come across this garden

with me to the doorway of my heart, and there will You

remove it from its hinges, laying it aside, that there may no

longer be any barrier, no matter how light, how flower-covered, between You and me?"


     Kimberly's Lord smiled and said, "Yes, this will I do. Then

the garden which is in your heart will grow through the doorless entryway, and your mind will bloom, your body will sing, and

your spirit will bear fruit. Your whole being will become My

garden and we, you and I, will be together every hour."


     He stood in front of her, holding out His hand again, and

saying, "Arise, My beloved, and come with Me."


     Kimberly rose quickly to her feet, placing her hand in His,

and lifting her sweet voice, she sang, "O Lamb of God, I come...I

come."


     Then, hand in hand, they walked together across the

emerald green grass to open forever the doorway to Kimberly's

secret garden.

 

(written when Kimberly was still just two months old)

 

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