The Secret Garden

Secret Buddha Garden, Ko Samui, Thailand, 2012

The first time I read  The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett, I was in elementary school. I was a voracious reader, mainly sticking to the likes of The Babysitter’s Club or Sweet Valley High (Sweet Valley Twins I also read, but they were a bit thin). I also dabbled with Nancy Drew (I considered naming my firstborn daughter George), Charlotte’s Web, and Francis Hodgson’s other popular book, A Little Princess.

Secret Buddha Garden, Ko Samui, Thailand, 2012

While this secret Buddha garden in Ko Samui, Thailand didn’t cause a boy in a wheelchair to miraculously run, it was secret and magical nonetheless. The garden is difficult to get to- you can only actually get there via 4×4 truck. And it is off the beaten path. A Samuian fruit farmer, Nim Thongsuk, started to build the garden in 1976 when he was 77 years old.

Statue in Secret Buddha Garden, Ko Samui, Thailand, 2012

The book The Secret Garden involved a girl who met new friends and discovered a place where she could bring a dilapidated garden back to life. Mary Lennox and I are not all that different. This trip brought me new friends and new discoveries, and allowed me to ‘regrow’ the garden of life within me. For a long time I felt as though I was ‘behind’ in not getting married and having kids. I am realizing that God and/or the Universe has something different planned for me. I have the means, the time, and the curiosity to explore, travel the world, and grow my own type of garden. Why wouldn’t I take advantage of this gift and freedom!!??

Statue, Secret Buddha Garden, Ko Samui, Thailand, 2012

I don’t believe there are mistakes in life- only opportunities. Opportunities that are created for you if you choose to take them. And I have chosen to take mine. Where is your secret garden (and don’t you get all pervy on me) and what opportunities will you take?


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