As a child I had a secret hide-away hole at the bottom of the garden. It wasn’t exactly well disguised, but more of a gap in a holly bush, just big enough to crawl through if you were small, adventurous and prepared to get grubby and a little scratched. It was my own little world, that I felt belonged to me. Knowing that no one else knew about it, made something special and something to keep preserved.
I kept my secret place a secret, until one day, I led my 8-year-old self’s’ first crush through the looking glass and into the rabbit hole. As he had taken my childish and innocent heart, I took him by the mud-crusted hand to my secret garden. I felt that I was sharing part of me, simply by showing the most important thing that I possessed.
I found a similar place in Cambridge; somewhere only I know as far as I am concerned. It is a tree in the Botanic Gardens (the only clue I am giving away!). It isn’t the biggest, rarest or most beautiful, but there it transports me back in time where I can hide away from the world. There is no WiFi or signal, but it is in a place where you can just people watch under its canopy without being seen by wandering eyes.
On Valentine’s day, I had hoped to take someone to my tree with a bottle of Champagne, strawberries and a picnic blanket. Unfortunately, I will have to keep my secret place hidden for a little longer, but, for those who have found that one special person to crawl on your hands and knees with, please do go to the Botanic Gardens this Saturday and find a tree! Sit under it and just be children again for a while.