Angel in the Garden

The Secret Garden

Saturday was one of those lovely rainy days, when you love to be in the garden. Misty rain that comes and goes with a little bit harder rain every now and again.

The Many Sounds of Rain

A soft rainy day that makes you want to be in the garden, the green seems greener, the birds seem friendlier and the air seems cleaner. It saves you the work of watering your newly planted flowers and the earth is so much easier to carve.

secret garden doorway sunsetWalking through the garden early in the morning I suddenly knew what the day would bring...creating potted plants for my deck. I set out to visit my favorite nursery, where I have been buying all my plants, flowers and gardening things for six years. The owner of the nursery is an elderly man, who recently lost his wife. I have watched him go from an energetic busy gardener with smiles and greetings to a frail and dazed person who often stands watching his son and employees busy themselves in his nursery. It seems to me that he has lost the two loves of his life, his wife and his garden.

Garden EntranceAs I wandered in search of the perfect fillers for my pots, I waved to him and said hello. He looked over and seemed to recognize me, or perhaps happy to be recognized himself. He started following me, and answering my questions about what I should use in my pots for the sunny side of my garden. He said “have I told you about my favorite poem?” I said “No” with a smile. He began to recite a poem from memory of how beautiful it is to be in the garden so close to God. As he recited this to me, I could see his eyes well up with tears. I stood in that moment and realized how special it was, and this man so touched my heart. I wondered if it might have been a favorite poem of his wife’s.

Entrance to the gardensAs his son put the potting soil in my car, he stood holding the tray of my plants waiting for me to open the trunk of my car. As I thanked him, I felt so connected to him and his message. I left with plants, potting soil and my heart softened by this lovely poem. All day long I carried that moment with me and suddenly the little things I might have fretted over vanished into a bigger message. Sometimes it might be a word, an image or something that you hear that wraps itself around your heart. In those moments it feels as if God is speaking directly to you. Time stands still and the message seems to have come from an entrance to that secret place within. I love it when moments occur that make me stop and embrace it’s magic. The man’s name, well it is the same as his lovely nursery...Angel.

Gardens at Von TrappWhen I returned home I looked up the poem.

The Lord God Planted a Garden
By Dorothy Frances Gurney (1858-1932)

The Lord God planted a garden
In the first white days of the world,
And He set there an angel warden
In a garment of light enfurled.

So near to the peace of Heaven,
That the hawk might nest with the wren,
For there in the cool of the even
God walked with the first of men.

And I dream that these garden-closes
With their shade and their sun-flecked sod
And their lilies and bowers of roses,
Were laid by the hand of God.

The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth, –
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth.

For He broke it for us in a garden
Under the olive-trees,
Where the angel of strength was the warden
And the soul of the world found ease.

Garden staircase The name of the song is Song from a Secret Garden, and the artist is Secret Garden. Perhaps this song does hold a key to the secret garden within, because the haunting melody is familiar but only to my heart.

vontrapp gardens
Beverly said...

Karen, this so touched me that it brought tears to my eyes.

I have a sign in my sunroom that says "Only my garden knows the secrets of my soul".

Angel certainly shared the secrets of his soul with you.

Susan said...

Oh, Karen,
This is such a beautiful post. The story, the pictures, the music, everything is so lovely. Thank you for making today special.

Susan from the Little Yellow House

Rosie's Whimsy said...

I can't tell you how much this meant to me....sharing the story of this man and his poem. I have always said I feel closer to God in my garden than anywhere else on earth.

I thank you so much for taking the time to write this post!

((hugs)) Rosie

Kathleen Grace said...

Karen this story is so sad and sweet at the same time. I have heard the one stanza before but never the whole thing. I wanted to give Angel a hug just from hearing the story.

Teri C said...

Just beautiful words and pictures Karen. Thanks. You always hit the nail right on the head no matter what it is.

Whim & Fancy Designs said...

Hello Karen,
I decided to take a break and get rejuvinated....What a lovely garden! I think I want ot go and create some crepe flowers now.....LOL! Thank you for the beautiful comments, I appreciate them! If those are pictures of your property...WOW!I feel peppy again...back to creping!
tah tah..~HUGS~ Ann-Denise

Tara said...

Hi Karen:

What a great poem and song! Super post!
And I am glad you liked Google reader, it gives more time for the READING,what we all like best!

Have a great day!

SandyCarlson said...

Beautiful pictures, Karen! I just watched "The Secret Garden." You brought it to life again!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Karen, What a beautiful post today..but then again all your posts are beautiful. I too love to plant in the garden on a misty rainy day. I think the plants love it too. xo Lynn

Donna said...

Karen, what a beautiful story. Tears filled my eyes as I read the poem.
Thank you for sharing.

Mary Isabella said...

Oh Karen this is just what I needed. This has been a trying week for me. This post touched my life in so many different ways. Thank-you so much my friend....Mary