22 April 2019
Taken in Polamatic and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr.
Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this photomontage. Prints are available upon request.
For me everyday is Earth Day. Still, the first organized celebration (22 April 1970) of the planet was a chance to bring “us” together and show reverence for the place that sustains life as we know it. In the almost thirty years since that organized tribute much has changed in this age of Anthropocene, which is the current epoch where human activity has brought environmental consequences and havoc upon our natural world and thus us.
Gardens as spirituality is part of my religious center. My identity is wrapped in Mother nature’s continuum of gifts. Regardless of the season—and I am fortunate to live where four are experienced—nature tips into my day delicious visual jewels. Every morning I gaze at my surroundings, and am offered a landscape that always gives elements of inner peace.
Whether it’s the physical landscape or birds busily beginning their daily duties or billowy clouds drifting westward, I start the day with some sense that nature is the quintessential master of the universe. The level of comfort may vary, but sometimes the smallest realizations and reminders brings enormous comfort in a world that seems to be struggling in a tangled mess of power-hungry and misguided egos.
Nature rescues me from slipping into a malaise; she shores the energy from family and friends, always there to inspire, to pull the dark curtain and let the light cast its spell: nurturing and nourishing. And the spirit is fed with the knowledge that another day will rise and give meaning through nature as bounty and sanctuary.
Below in the Note section is an article that focuses on the healing power of gardens, nature as cultivated and maintained by humans. Regardless of the venue, life is exponentially enriched with every excursion to a garden. A friend’s garden can serve as a reservoir to build the mind’s elation. A professionally-designed garden can inspire and sooth. Whether voyeur or participant, both mine the energy felt in the presence of nature.
While gardens are known to be spiritually uplifting, a single flower can do equal justice to create a feeling of well-being. In the Lens section is such an example. That lone spring tulip brings a sense of calm, and foreshadows the glorious technicolor of the season.
Spring erases thoughts of wintry greys with its chill. Spring releases adrenalin that brings forward movement to spark sensibilities and awareness of a world ready for new possibilities–possibilities that are shored by seasonal surprise and wonder.
My hope is that on this Earth Day greater and greater efforts will be put into place to assure us that four seasons will be the continued reality of our world. That we will work as one global community to heal the earth as she heals us.
On 18 April 2019 the Opinion column (“Oliver Sacks: The Healing Power of Gardens By Oliver Sacks”) in The New York Times cited some excerpts from “Everything in Its Place,” which is a posthumous collection of writings by Dr. Oliver Sacks (1933-2015) who was a neurologist and author of many books. Here are some of his comments that support the way nature can be a natural healer. Then the complete article can be viewed here.
“I cannot say exactly how nature exerts its calming and organizing effects on our brains, but I have seen in my patients the restorative and healing powers of nature and gardens, even for those who are deeply disabled neurologically. In many cases, gardens and nature are more powerful than any medication.”
“Clearly, nature calls to something very deep in us. Biophilia, the love of nature and living things, is an essential part of the human condition. Hortophilia, the desire to interact with, manage and tend nature, is also deeply instilled in us. The role that nature plays in health and healing becomes even more critical for people working long days in windowless offices, for those living in city neighborhoods without access to green spaces, for children in city schools or for those in institutional settings such as nursing homes. The effects of nature’s qualities on health are not only spiritual and emotional but physical and neurological. I have no doubt that they reflect deep changes in the brain’s physiology, and perhaps even its structure.”