Many of you have experienced loss over the past year. This post is for you.
Are you a caregiver? This post is for you too.
Last week we had the privilege of speaking before a group of widows, widowers, and caregivers as part of a series of practical living classes. Our topic was spring lawn and garden. Today we want to share a few key thoughts from our talk.
I remember seeing the movie, “Gone With the Wind,” for the first time as a young teenager. One memorable quote from the movie was this:
“Do you mean to tell me, Katie Scarlett O’Hara, that Tara, that land
doesn’t mean anything to you? Why, land is the only thing in the world
worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the
only thing that lasts.”
At that point in life, I didn’t fully understand it, but even then I recognized it as a profound statement.
Did you know that ancient physicians suggested walks in gardens for patients who were troubled? Or that America’s famous Dr. Benjamin Rush noted, “Digging in the soil has a curative effect on troubled souls?” You probably have some idea now where this talk is going.
In her book, The Heartfelt Garden, Sarah Wint writes, “Being connected with nature makes you accept the inescapable cycle of life and death and realize it’s not personal. And slowly you come to live happily with the rhythm.” “With gardening, there is always next year. There is always hope.”
Hank Bruce writes about healing in the garden too. “Active or passive use of a garden setting can reduce depression and need for anti-depressive medications, lower levels of anger and frustration and promotes engagement. The healing that can happen here can be physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. These four aspects that define who we are cannot effectively be treated separately.” (http://horttherapywithhankbruce.weebly.com/healing-in-the-garden.html)
There’s just something about being in nature that brings measures of healing to those who are hurting.
It is spring. Go outside. Spend a day at a park. Feel the wind in your hair. Feel the warmth of the sun. Smell the fresh earthy smell after a spring rain. See the colors in the sky, all the spring trees, trees & bulbs blooming. Run your hands through the grass. In nature, we can each find a sense of place and a renewed sense of purpose, which can be a huge source of comfort and joy. Connect with the land.
“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” May Sarton, American poet (1912 –1995)