Posts Tagged ‘secret’

Whether you’re six or sixty, if you don’t already have a secret place where you can be uninterrupted by yourself, perhaps it’s time you found one.  Either in nature or near it, such a place offers you the opportunity to escape from the world for a few minutes and just… enjoy the view.

Your secret window on the natural world allows you to be refreshed and restored with a minimum investment of time.  You needn’t engage with anything except your imagination.

X marks the spot of this secret place in the woods.

Your secret place need not be large or spacious.  You only need room enough to hunker down for a short while to take a moment from the demands of the world.  A woodland setting is ideal, but  less remote places offer good possibilities too:  a spot beneath a special tree or the quiet corner of a deck, balcony, rooftop or beach.

A secret place beyond the sand dunes

Even a secluded park bench or stone can work.  The key ingredient is that it is available to you when the stresses of the day call you to it.

The view from here is especially magical on a foggy day.

As children, many of us had a secret place.  Perhaps we knew something back then about the need for balance that we forgot along the way…

I have a house where I go
When there’s too many people,
I have a house where I go
Where no one can be;
I have a house where I go,
Where nobody ever says “No”;
Where no one says anything –so
There is no one but me.

~ A.A. Milne  ~ Solitude

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012


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Imagine a secret code of communication that doesn’t rely on the written word.  One that allows exchangers to express a range of emotions that might never even be spoken.  Such is the language of flowers, developed during the reign of Queen Victoria, whose birthday is celebrated today in Canada.

It became popular at the time to send coded messages by flowers or small arrangements of blooms, called posies, which were frequently worn on ladies’ dresses.  Each flower came to represent a specific message.  Although this code was well known among all layers of society during Victoria’s time, it was eventually forgotten. 

Here are a few meanings behind some of the flowers presently in bloom in Nova Scotia.

Apple blossoms, shown above at left, would send the message that you prefered the recipient over another.  If you felt sorry for someone, you could send elderflowers, shown above at centre, as they indicate compassion.  Dandelions, at top right, communicate flirting.  There are certainly enough of these bright yellow blooms to send to everyone these days.

In contrast, forget-me-nots, shown above at left, would be sent only to one’s true love.  Blue violets, shown above at centre, are symbols for faithfulness.  Considering how easily these tiny flowers can be overlooked, it’s no wonder that the white violets, shown above at right, communicate modesty.

Coded floral messages could also make it easier to deliver awkward sentiments.  If you wanted to communicate the message that you wanted to be alone, lichens, symbols of solitude, would say it well, especially dusted with a frost of snow. 

Today, the Victorian era (1837-1901) is considered an age of romance that saw a revival of family values and improved social morals, inspired in part by Victoria’s long-lasting affection for her husband Albert.  The secret code of flowers is part of that legacy.

For more information on the language of flowers see the entry at Wikipedia.

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… here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud

and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)

and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart).
~ ee cummings

The world has many secrets. Some are ancient but new ones are made (and revealed) daily.  This one is probably the most wonderful.  It’s what allows people to go on and remain connected to one another, despite the suffering brought on by separation, either through death or some other circumstance. 

Someone might read Cumming’s poem and think of romantic love, another the love between a parent or grandparent and a child, the love between siblings or friends or the love of God.  Regardless of how many hearts we hold within our hearts, somehow, they are always large enough to hold these all in.  And that, in itself, is a wonder.

This morning’s clear November sky allowed me to find these images: the root in an upturned tree (the negative image is shown), the bud in one of next year’s frosted Rhododendron buds, and a spruce tree at sunrise along the salt marsh trail.  Birch and maple leaves provided the background for the shape of the heart within a heart.

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