‘When a thing is wick, it has a life about it
Maybe not a life like you and me
But somewhere there’s a secret streak of green inside it
Now come and let me show you what I mean’*
My sister reminded me about this meaning of the word ‘wick’ yesterday. To most of us, ‘wick’ means embarrassed, rubbish, under par. But there’s another meaning that has long been forgotten. When Mary sees The Secret Garden, she declares it to be dead. It’s only when Dickon looks and ‘walks about softly’ that he can recognise there’s life, a ‘wick’ in the plants around him. Even the lifeless roses have tiny shoots of green when the grass and dead boughs that were choking it are cleared away.
As yet another rainy, windy day arrived this morning, I was making myself think of what’s good about February that January doesn’t have. It’s got to be the bulbs. The snowdrops get to us earlier, but this month, the crocuses arrive. I can already see promises of daffodils in the garden as well. The days are getting longer again too. Spring is steadily approaching. It has been a hard, dark old time for many of us this winter, but the good news is, spring is coming.
I wonder if you have a Dickon in your life, or is that the part you play in someone else’s? My Dickon insisted only yesterday that he could see green on the plant I said was too storm-damaged to survive. I didn’t believe him and yet, I’ve let it be just in case I’m wrong.
Maybe, ‘just in case you’re wrong’, you should try and look for the wick in your life. That is so so hard to do sometimes. I know. But there might be hope somewhere you didn’t expect, somewhere you’ve never looked before.
And don’t forget, there are always crocuses.
*The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett