Under the Dock Leaves - An Autumnal Evening's Dream, by Richard Doyle. Image from ArtMagick.com -- click here to view full size image
Over the last few days I have been reading Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden aloud to my seven-year-old sister. We have both been enjoying it a great deal. It has been some years since I last read The Secret Garden. As I read it again now, I see it through fresh eyes. The magic of this classic book works itself upon me in new ways.
It's strange how, as we grow older, we see the same scene in such a vastly different light. We understand certain elements of a story as we never did before, and we notice various little details that seemed insignificant before.
It is the mark of a true classic - the ability to transcend time (The Secret Garden was first published in 1911) and reach beyond a reader's age and experience . It touches the soul, it seems to reach out to something in our humanity, so that no matter what background we come from, or whether we are old or young, it moves something deep within us. And if we would glean what we can from some such book, we will be a better person as result of having read it!
The person who cannot appreciate and learn from good literature must be a fool indeed. . . however, I don't know that I have ever met with such a person. It seems to me pretty much everyone is moved by a good story well-told. :-)