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  • Writer's pictureAnnaliese Rix

Nature's Nurture

“It's been proven by quite a few studies that plants are good for our psychological development. If you green an area, the rate of crime goes down. Torture victims begin to recover when they spend time outside in a garden with flowers. So we need them, in some deep psychological sense, which I don't suppose anybody really understands yet. “~Jane Goodall

Living in the city, often alienate us from our core being. Humans need nature, as they need food, or their mental health can decline.

Suburban life can be suffocating. I like to refer to it as an experience similar to having “cabin fever”. Ever get that restless feeling, irritated by undefinable experiences, and an urge to find some solace and solitude?

Our senses sometimes suffer from a sensory overload. City and suburban life can in my mind be compared to a “concrete jungle”. The sensory overload accompanied by these settings, require open spaces of tranquility and serenity, on a regular basis.

Such spaces can be found at nurseries, parks, and nature reserves that are in close proximity for the city dwellers, and are in fact a necessity.

Serendipity lead me to such a tranquil and beautiful setting recently. Garden Bleu,(Waterkloof, Pretoria), was exactly the kind of space that nourished my soul with all its tranquility and beauty.

It was an experience which addressed all five senses and made me feel grounded in what is essentially me. Tranquility, serenity, and calm, over-rides the internal chaos immediately.

The added bonus was the hospitality of the owner and her friends. Authentic people in its true sense!

City life and its never-ending challenges, meeting unending demands and expectations, alienate us from living life in abundance.

“Gardeners instinctively know that flowers and plants are a continuum and that the wheel of garden history will always be coming full circle.”

~Francis Cabot Lowell

We need to come full circle in terms of our internal well-being, through regular “time-out” intervals. The “time-out” intervals can be regarded as “time-in” intervals, which we spend in either gardening ourselves, or making time for green spaces. The quality it adds to our general mental health and happiness can not be measured quantitatively.

Seeking solitude and solace in nature are essential. Preserving green spaces and nature are essential. Man is losing humanity, compassion and himself, through an ever-evolving plastic and superficial existence, with little, if sometimes any, long term rewards.

“If a plant cannot live according to its nature, it dies; and so a man.”

~Henry David Thoreau.

Images taken at Garden Bleu Garden Shop, Waterkloof, Pretoria.

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