Gateway to the Classics: The Way of the Gate by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
 
The Way of the Gate by  Carolyn Sherwin Bailey

The Garden That Awoke

Once upon a time there was a garden that was asleep. All winter long its trees had been bare. Its flower beds had been empty. Its birds had been away. The little tinkling fountain that had played and sung for so many happy days was quiet and still.

"The garden is not pretty any more. Perhaps it will never be pretty again," said the children who used to run in and out of it at play. And they did not come to the garden. Every one said that the garden was too fast asleep ever to wake up again.

One day something happened. A little brown bird, who had flown a very long distance, stopped on the tiptop of a tree in the fast-asleep garden. He had a secret from his Heavenly Father to sing.

"It's coming coming,

I'm sure, I know.

I'll fly, and sing,

If you'll burst and grow."

The little brown bird sang to the hard, brown branch of the tree on which he rested.

His song was so sweet that the branch suddenly felt the warm sap filling its heart. It burst open and sent out many fluttering, green leaf-fingers. They waved in the wind just as the leaves had fluttered and waved the year before.

The wind in the tree made the branch sing its Heavenly Father's secret. This is what the branch all covered with green leaves sang:

"It's coming; it's coming,

I'm sure; I know.

My leaves shall wave

If your grass will show."

Deep down in the ground the sleeping roots of the grass heard. They awoke and sent their slim, green little arms up through the bare ground. And the grasses stretched, and reached, and rustled. They told the secret that they had heard to the yellow daffodils that dreamed beside them down under the ground. This is what the grasses told the sleeping daffodils:

"It's coming; it's coming.

We're sure; we know.

The grass shall rise

If you'll bud and blow."

The yellow daffodils that slept down in the bare ground heard the sweet, rustling song of the grasses. They decided to push themselves up through the earth to see what was happening. And when they did, they saw the new green leaves, and the bright, green grasses. So they all decided to put on their yellow bonnets. They were very beautiful bonnets indeed, all trimmed with ruffles. They decided that they would tell the secret to the fountain. This is what the daffodils in their yellow ruffled bonnets told the fountain:

"It's coming; it's coming.

We're sure; we know.

We'll bud and bloom

If you'll tinkle low."

The fountain had been sleeping very soundly indeed. But when it heard the calling of the daffodils it sent one drop of water as clear as crystal up into the sunlight. Then it let the drop tinkle down into the stone basin again. That began its soft, beautiful song. Then it sent another drop of water up into the sunlight and then another and another. Soon there was a whole shower of drops, as clear as crystal, tinkling into the basin and making sweet music.

"Oh, see the garden! The garden is pretty again," cried all the children opening the gate and running in. "What has happened to the garden?" they asked.

"We have a secret. Shall we tell the children?" sang the little brown bird to the tree. And the tree asked the new green grass, and the new green grass asked the yellow daffodils. Then the yellow daffodils asked the tinkling fountain and the fountain said, "Yes."

So they all told the children the secret from their Heavenly Father about the garden.

"Easter has come!" everything in the garden said.

I am the resurrection, and the life.

John xi. 25.


And God said, Let the earth put forth grass.

Genesis i. 11.


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