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Homegrown Hope

Never has Spring’s arrival felt so welcome. Over the past six weeks, or more, (time seems very fluid these days), we’ve been overwhelmed with a pandemic which has affected us in so many ways, directly and indirectly. Yet, while we were wondering what day it was, Mother Nature carried on regardless. And in fact, she’s been rather busy. Our skies look clearer, our air is fresher, and our trees are full of buds ready to burst open. Our Spring flowers have valiantly bloomed, giving us glimpses of beautiful colours and fragrance. The silver lining in these times seems to be that our planet looks really healthy; even Venice’s canals have seen wildlife and fish return. Mother Nature has rescued us from our grey doldrums, reminding us that life goes on, all the more glorious now, perhaps because we took it for granted before, certainly that we now have more time to appreciate it. Ontario’s decision to open the Garden centres will have more than the birds and bees buzzing. We Canadians are keen to dust off our gardening gloves and settle into a daily routine of cultivating the earth, making it ready to receive new plantings so that we can enjoy our beloved patio season. While some of our Discerning Seniors may have relocated to smaller living spaces, there’s no reason not to have a garden to enjoy as well. Window box gardens can be easily located in a sunny spot, where we can enjoy their blooms, or trim them for additions to our cooking. Herbs are very easy to have growing on a windowsill, and it’s long known that herbs have healing qualities both as an ingredient, but also in their scents- the original aromatherapy!

Connecting to Nature has long been prescribed by doctors for its healing qualities. The poet Wordsworth wrote often of the joy found in nature, “Then my heart with pleasure fills/And dances with the daffodils.” Being outside, occupied in actions rather than in our thoughts can help us get through anxious times. Building a garden, regardless of size, restores a sense of balance, grounding us in the promise that tomorrow will bring a small seedling’s first green tops, and the end of the week a small flower or a herb to throw into a tomato sauce. Despite all the bad news, it’s lovely once again to focus on hope, for a greener kitchen garden, a delicious meal with homegrown herbs, for a brighter future full of positivity. What we care for will nourish us too, body and soul, so we can look forward together to better days, blue skies, and Nature’s bounty.` Happy Spring, and Happy Gardening!

Some Reading Suggestions on the Restorative Powers of Nature The Well Gardened Mind: Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World, Sue Stuart-Smith The Natural Health Service: What the Great Outdoors Can Do for Your Mind, Isabel Hardman Wild Child: Coming Home to Nature, Patrick Markham

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