To stand at the bottom of the steps that lead down into my garden each morning, taking in the array of colours, breathing in the air full with the perfume of awakening flowers, whilst listening to bird songs being carried on the breeze as it rustles its way through the willow leaves. To run my hands through dew soaked blades of grass and herbs that grow so freely at my side; all bring my senses back to life after having rested in stillness within me as I slept through the night.
Entering through the gate as I arrive back from work on a hot summers evening I rub the oil filled leaves of lavender and rosemary, releasing their therapeutic aroma as it mingles with the essence of basil, garlic-chives and mint that cling heavily to the warmth of the south-facing wall. I linger for a brief moment to pinch out a few young green tips, feeling their individual textures embracing my skin before tasting the sensual aliveness that only nature shares for free. ~ Welcome home Steve, in many more senses than five!
This could have been a long spiritual uplifting post but I want instead to take you out of the spiritual arena and step alongside me into the world of You as a human being and into my garden for what I hope will be a sensual delight. Although it’s difficult to avoid a spiritual element when discussing nature and our connectedness with it I want to try if I can to detach you if only for a few brief moments from the land of spirit and light which we can often confuse with the feeling of it just ‘being a great day to be alive and enjoying the moment we’re in,’ and to draw you back into the simplistic childlike sensual enthusiasm for life and the world of nature we live in.
Spiritual or not we’re all human which is why I intend to start writing a series of posts based on improving our well-being; physical, mental and emotional without overwhelming you with clichés about reaching higher levels of spiritual awareness but by simply using nature from a purely human point of view as much as I can and based as much as possible around my own gardening experiences.
Gardens, gardening and horticulture in general are being used more and more as a therapeutic treatment in many areas of healthcare including rehabilitation centres of all kinds where they are used as a means of providing new life skills as well as providing therapy to those who find themselves unable to cope with life for whatever reason. Local community parks, gardens and schools are also being turned into what I term ‘wellbeing playgrounds’ by providing areas where we (especially our kids) can all have everyday experiences that connect us to and raise our ‘senses’ of awareness of nature. By nurturing our senses in the same way as we would nurture our gardens we can begin to regrow ourselves into the fully sensual beings we really are. By nurturing I mean touching, smelling, feeling and tasting for ourselves the nourishment that nature provides for us to be able to feel the very best we can!
The brain thrives on being nourished and it feeds off of the information supplied to it by our senses whilst creating a nerve tingling cascade of neuro-chemical stimulations throughout our bodies. So the more beneficial stimulation we can supply ourselves with on a regular basis the more our brains will stimulate our wellbeing on a regular basis too. I wont touch on the scientific, neurological, medical or nutritional research/facts here or in the future as I’m no expert in those matters but I will occasionally be sharing a few links to informed websites and other related resources with you, like the ones I’ve included in this post, but there is a whole wealth of great information out there on the internet if you want to explore any those topics further for yourself.
So what’s next; information, tips and anecdotes including ….
- How to reduce and avoid urban noise pollution by diving into the sounds and even silences of nature.
- How to enhance your visual and auditory senses by using houseplants, cut flowers and herbs to bring the garden indoors.
- How to tickle your taste buds, often for free from natures’ own natural store of sensual deliciousness.
- How to Invigorate yourself (and others) with touch. Which plants you’ll want to hug as well as a few you’ll want to shrug away!
In the meantime can I suggest that you take some timeout to sit, walk or play in a garden of sensuality near you!