my monday tryst

It's an interesting thing.

A person, say you, can be quite addicted to sugar, or mindless tv. But, if you can manage to wean yourself off long enough, you'll come to find that it's hard to go back without a strong reaction.

You become sensitized again.

And you may also come to find that those cravings become replaced by (or re-emerge for) a desire for sights and sounds and tastes and smells and input that nourish your body/mind/spirit, rather than just temporarily pacify.

I've come to crave a place near us called Longwood Gardens. (See? Here.)

I mean, I'm fortunate enough to live in an area where I can get my nature fix just from walking into my backyard. But I had such an amazing experience one day there last year, where a couple of hours spent strolling around the gardens left me feeling just.... completely... saturated.

My head was so full of Lovely ... for DAYS afterward, and it made me acutely aware of how deadened and stale and lethargic my brain had become between the narrow world of my computer, and the confine of office walls.

Acutely aware of how starved my head and senses were for beauty.

And for the reminder that there is still beauty in the world. Stunning, glorious beauty.

See, it's been rainy here for the better part of a week. My fella and I planned a trip to the Gardens on Sunday to see the tulips in bloom (gawd, I LOVE tulips!), but alas, it was raining. And cold.

I would have gone, but, anyway ... I found myself grumpy and a little resentful.

Which was a clear message that I needed that fix.

I took myself there the next day, determined that immersing in natural beauty was non-negotiable and not at all frivolous in the face of whatever reason I might have had to feel guilty about going by myself on a weekday.

tulips.longwoodgardens

I saw tulips. Hundreds and hundreds. In colors that I didn't even know existed. I went to the Meadow Garden: 86 acres of wild expansiveness and red-winged blackbirds. I did some shinrin yoku , or "forest bathing" as the Japanese call it, in Pierce's Woods - even kicking the shoes off for a bit, much to the delight of my feet.

(Here's this about forest bathing => http://www.shinrin-yoku.org/shinrin-yoku.html)

Woods.Longwood1
Woods.Longwood.Barefoot

I sat there amongst the green and just breathed. Deeply.

This felt like a luxury, but it was not.

This is what feeds me. What feeds all humans, though many have forgotten.

The link above is an example of but one of many research studies performed to prove what some of us already know.

Michael J. Cohen, PhD (author of "Reconnecting with Nature", and founder of the Project NatureConnect program) says this...

"Our problems are absent in intact natural areas. Unlike us, nature thrives and grows through life-supportive relationships. It is simple for us to learn how to involve ourselves in nature's way, for it is already a part of us. We simply have to unbury it in ourselves and others."

So, this begs the question - when we know and experience good feelings in nature ... why do we diminish those feelings? Why do we relegate them to vacation time, somehow an experience outside of 'real life'? Why are we so convinced that what we feel when we're in nature is somehow less real than what we feel within stifling walls, under fluorescent lights, in front of flashing blue light screens?

Why are we missing the possibility that maybe there's a fundamental reason that being in nature feels so good, like drinking cool, clear water when we're thirsty?

That perhaps we are designed (evolved, whatever) to be most attracted to those things that are life-giving, nourishing, and essential for our survival, health, and happiness?

And that we should honor and follow through on those attractions if we are indeed seeking the answers to what ails us?

Again from Michael Cohen:

"We do not do this because long ago we learned that to expressively enjoy and validate nature's ways was similar to having an illicit affair."

If this is wrong, I don't wanna be right.

You?

Enjoy more lovely below....