Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Beautiful morning

I stepped outside this morning to complete some quick chores before heading to campus. I would say that I stopped momentarily to appreciate the gorgeous morning, but more truthfully the gorgeous morning made me stop and appreciate it. Clear, cool, wet from the overnight rainfall. We’re way behind on precipitation this summer so the analytic part of my mind was saying ‘yea, 0.4” of rain.’ The not-so-analytic, free-format part of my mind was saying ‘Quiet, you. Enjoy the moment.’   So I did.

Being outside is important for me. Natural environs are a tonic. ‘Built nature’ can be too, for me and for all those people who don’t have a chance to get out into natural nature. By built nature, I mean places people have brought the plants in to. These places could be farms, food gardens, flower gardens designed to produce or show off flowers or thoughtful spot gardens that draw people in, quiet them down, get them to think. It’s nature, nature fashioned by people for a particular purpose, but still nature.

One sees large and small versions of these thoughtful gardens in larger population centers. I’m reading a wonderful book about places like that: Open Spaces Sacred Places: Stories of How Nature Heals and Unifies by Tom Stoner and Carolyn Rapp. The spaces featured in this book range from a healing space at an HIV/AIDS center to a healing space at a prison to a healing space in what was a crime and drug ridden neighborhood. If I’m in the vicinity of these amazing spaces, I will stop in. The story of how they were built is as beautiful as the resulting places.

One can find thoughtful gardens in some small towns and rural areas as well. They are not so professionally crafted, but still make their own important impression.  Our area used to have a unique garden/book/artsy shop out in the country that had a garden with a walkway that invited visitors to stroll slowly and think. Unfortunately the shop is no longer in business. I don’t know what became of the garden. I know it took a lot of upkeep. One small town here in the eastern upper peninsula has a community garden, not the kind of community garden where individual gardeners have plots to work (a great, but different type of community garden) but rather a collaborative garden designed to get people to slow down and ponder. Built nature has a place even in small towns surrounded by natural nature.

No comments:

Post a Comment