Friday, February 6, 2015

What's the moor, Mom? Well, it's like the prairie.

I am reading The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
to my daughters at bedtime.
It's my first time reading it too.

It takes place in England in an endlessly large manor
on the moor.
The story refers to the moor often.
We are at about the halfway point in the story.

So naturally, my curious youngest asks me,
What's the moor, Mom? I don't get it.
And I tell her,
Well it is like the prairie.  We live on land that is called the prairie.
They live on the moor.

She still doesn't "get it",
but she says,
Tomorrow morning, wake me up early and we'll look it up on the internet.

So that's what we did this morning.
Ohhhhh, that's pretty.  All those flowers...
I tell her that the flowers are in the spring, but its gray and brown in the winter
like it is here on the prairie.

In the story, Mary did not like the moor at first.
But then, as she meets Dickon, the boy who plays on the moor
charms the animals
of the moor,
and sees the green points poking up in the spring,
she falls in love with the moor.

I get that.
I understand that bit of perspective.
I love this prairie for much of the same reasons:
the boy with sky blue eyes and red cheeks
from being out on it all day long
and the green that starts to peek through
and the robins and birds
and animals.

And I love what reading to my girls does.
That it inspires imagination and curiosity.
How much more fascinating is it to discover a "moor"
when you've read about it in a story
than to just learn it as a vocabulary word in geography?

So I take my walk
on the prairie
and let the fresh air rush into my lungs
and allow it to give me health
as does the garden for Mary and Dickon and Colin.

In the story, Mary asks Mr. Craven a question filled with longing,
"Might I have a bit of earth?"
And his answer is beautiful . . . 
"When you see a bit of earth you want, take it, child, and make it come alive."

I think about how this hay field
down alongside the creek
is a bit of my "secret garden"
with its air 
and robins 
and nests
 and overgrown trees
and unkempt paths
and about how what is now brown and gray
will gradually turn green.

It's not really mine
but it is enjoyed by me
and spending time there makes me come alive.

The prairie
our moor

1 comment:

  1. These photos are so gorgeous - the light is stunning in that second from the top...and I love the quote from "The Secret Garden"...


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