As a young girl one of my all-time favorite books was The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnet. It’s about the journey of a girl uncovering a garden in the home where she lives and the healing powers it provides, both physically and emotionally.
As a mom of a 3 year old, at times I find myself rehashing my days more traveled. One of the most memorable, awe-inspiring cities I’ve visited is Prague. It feels like I left my heart there and I hope one day to return. My husband and I were there in September 2004. We love traveling on foot in even the biggest cities and Prague was no exception. It has a way of feeling both expansive and intimate. On one such walking day, we visited Prague Castle, Charles Bridge and nearby neighborhoods. It was early afternoon and I was reading a tiny passage out of our handy travel book. It briefly mentioned a hidden away garden, Vojanovy Sady, right in the middle of the city, with only a tall unmarked door within a tall wall as it’s entrance. This blurb had excited my love of all things mysterious. The space was originally founded as a monastic garden. We tried for about 30 minutes to figure out it’s location, which made me all the more interested! It ended up being a large wooden, unlocked door right on a cobble stone street. I felt a bit like the girl in The Secret Garden. It was magnificent! It’s quite a large garden for the middle of the city and once you close the door behind you, the city is lost to the senses. The grass and trees were fresh, bright green and vibrant. There were hardly any people there…just a few feeding the birds on some stone benches. I realized as we walked on the grass under the canopy of trees that we were in an apple and pear orchard! I picked and ate fruit as we walked along in the crisp afternoon.
Prague is fascinating for so many reasons, but one of my favorite attributes is it’s plethora of parks and gardens. There was something about finding a discrete, amazing garden and eating fruit from the trees that I’ll never forget. The earth has so much to offer, which brings me back to the present moment. My new edible garden provides me with that same connection to the earth that I felt that day in Prague.