Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Secret Garden
When we were kids we didn't read many classic novels. We read Bible stories and Aesop's Fables. We liked them a lot and until today I remember all the stories we used to love. From the famous David and Goliath to the Benjamites kidnapping women dancing around the fire (so cool!). Looking back now I'm sure my parents can see that it would've been interesting to let us read other novels as well, but as someone once said (you see, I do use the title in my posts - in your face Mary!), hindsight is 20/20.
As we got older we became more interested in certain stories we caught wind of like Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, Ivanhoe, The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers. Those stories took us on a wild, wild ride and we loved every second we were were able to sneak off and read them. I remember reading Little Women up in the attic in Argentina with a flashlight hiding behind trunks and suitcases. It was very exciting, which is probably the reason why the book seemed all the more awesome to me.
Before moving to Argentina we all met up (us older kids were living in different places) in Sao Paulo while we got ready for the trip. There was a lot of paperwork to be done so we were there for a little while. We were in a temporary situation that was not providential at all. We had to bunk with some of my Mom's friends and we felt very unwelcome. Majah had to travel and do things and we were left in this uncomfortable situation with some really uncool people who's idea of taking "good care" of the teenagers was to make us work like orphans in a poor house so we wouldn't have any time to get into trouble. I think Majah's friend (our "hostess") was secretly - or not - a witch, because she was the most creative evil task master I've ever met - and I've met some. (By the way, Majah had no notion of what was going on until she came back from her journeys and we didn't want to worry her while she was away.)
We devised a way to make a haven for ourselves away from the people who we didn't like and who really didn't like us. That's when we started reading. We found a storage place that was kind of like a pantry and storage room with a lock and key. No one ever went in there so it was always locked. We stole the key, a lamp, some pillows and blankets (it was winter) and would go to our hideout after hours and read together. We read many different books, we even listened to music, but the one book I remember well was The Secret Garden.
I guess we identified with the fact that they had also found their little haven away from the hate and it was a magical secret garden. Our little storage room was far from beautiful or magical, and smelled a bit like old Cheetos and feet, but it was ours and it made us feel safe and brought us closer together. We had been separated for a while before meeting up in Sao Paulo and we had more or less grown apart. Some of us were doing courses in Rio and others were with our parents. Reading the book together in that little dingy little hole in the wall (literally) was a life saver and kept us all sane during a very difficult time. To me The Secret Garden will always hold a very special place in my heart. When the movie came out in '93 I flipped. It's absolutely gorgeous! Perfect for a cozy Saturday afternoon with tea and cookies.
I love the movie. Here's the trailer - enjoy!
This is my favorite moment in the movie: