To live your legacy you must be intentional. Creating a legacy, however, takes a little magic. I do not remember why I was alone or happened to walk into the library. I just remember picking a book off the shelf and being transported to a different time and place. When I checked the book out the librarian said, “Oh, this is one of my favorite stories! I hope you enjoy it.”
I was ten years old. The book was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. It is still one of my favorite books. It is the story of two children who discover their personal magic. That part of themselves that gives them the courage to try new things. To dream big dreams, challenge the opinion of others and accomplish what they had been told they were incapable of doing.
Magic plays a central role in The Secret Garden. Some might call it divine intervention, a higher power, or the soul. What ever the term, it is what causes us to act on our dreams. That thing which motivates us to do that, which makes us unique and becomes our legacy.
The Garden represents the legacy left by a mother to the son she would never know. It becomes the magic that inspires young Colin to challenge everyone’s perception of who he was and become the person he was meant to be.
I now have a garden of my own. It has always been a restorative place for me. A place where nature quietly lives and grows. But upon the birth my Granddaughters it has become a place where Addy Bug, Lilly Pickles, and Lollypop live. They are my inspiration and the source of the garden’s magic. One day after telling my Granddaughters about the latest adventure in my garden, the oldest asked, “Are those stories real?”
“Why do you ask, my dear?”
“Because Daddy says fairies aren’t real.”
“Is that so? Let me ask you this.” I said. “Do you believe in magic?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Oh. I see. Well, I do.” I said. “Do you know where magic comes from?”
“From inside each of us. From our heads and our hearts. It happens every time you tell a story or make up a song. When you dance across the yard or lay in the grass watching the clouds float by. It is that which inspires you to think, dream and create.”
My oldest Granddaughter is now the age I was, when quite by accident, I discovered The Secret Garden. This past Christmas I gave my Granddaughter a leather-bound copy of my favorite childhood book. Once a week we Facetime and take turns reading out loud to each other. We finished the chapter where Colin uncovers the picture of his Mother. This was a large portrait that hung above the fireplace in his bedroom. The portrait had been covered for years because it made him angry to see her smiling down upon him. When asked why the picture no longer made him angry, he answers, “I think she must have been a sort of magic person perhaps. I used to hate it because he (Colin’s father) was not fond of me. If he grew fond of me, I think I should tell him about the Magic. It might make him more cheerful.”
Legacy guides and inspires the magic within each of us. Without it, children struggle to find direction in life and adults loose meaning in theirs. Reading together is cherished time that has created an opportunity for me to intentionally live my legacy and inspire within my Granddaughter the understanding that fairies do not create magic…. people do.