To explore and affiliate with life is a deep and complicated process in mental development. To an extent still undervalued in philosophy and religion, our existence depends on this propensity, our spirit is woven from it hope rises on its currents.Edward O. Wilson
Biophilia is a wonderful term that means we humans tend to make connections between ourselves and nature. The book by Edward O. Wilson in 1984 defined it as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. Well, that seems right in this instance as I’ve been holed up until I felt whole again. Solution? Focus on green!
And it’s got nothing to do with the weather – nothing at all to do with the warning of possible “flurries” last night and a temperature plunge this aft. In May. No, it’s more to do with recuperation from a most welcome knee surgery compounded by dancing around COVID and yet another lockdown – which may go on even longer.
The good news? Without asking, my dear partner and friends stepped up and took care of me – it takes a village at all stages of life and I’m deeply grateful to the circle of humans in my life. And Furgus, our great grey cat, is no longer my constant companion – on my pillow, head or nestled at the bottom of the bed – and I take that as a good sign that I’m fine and recovered. No longer a source of feline, or human, worry. Cats know.
From my recuperation room, I was spoiled. I could look outside the window to see the maples changing day-by-day and look downstairs to see the seed trays with their increasing populations of stems, tendrils, and leaves. Repotting has taken place – a wonderful way of getting upright and into normal again – and very soon, barring a spontaneous glacier age, many plants will be hardened off prior to a final move to ground. I won’t worry about the ones that didn’t “take” – they just may need more time, asking to be nurtured a little longer, like all of us right now. Wait and see. Patience is a gift.
Outside, the rain drizzles down, continuing the seasonal magic of coercing buds on trees and shrubs to swell with excitement and unfurl one more time. All around, green shoots – the best green of the year – are beginning to frame the scene like an impressionistic masterpiece dripping from an artist’s brush, the trees enclosing us all in leaves soon to dance on any errant breeze and I will listen to every story it has to tell. Bliss.
My mind happily wanders through the garden where we will, as always, spend so much time this year. Projection can be a saving grace on days like this although I did manage to edge one bed – a whole bed – just the other day. It’s a start and the others are no doubt eager for the attention to come their way. In time, in time.
Down the mulched cedar path running away from the driveway to the mailbox, that marvel, the Helleborus, or Lenten Rose, is putting on a show. Here the leaves of the Helleborus are often the first declaration of spring as they peak out evergreen from under the snow. I look forward to it each year even as the snow is still hugging it to its cold heart. Interesting story – there’s a dark side to this enticing plant. Hippocrates used it as a common prescription for treating insanity and it’s mentioned by other ancients as sometimes found in rituals of exorcism and the coercion of spirits. Hmmm, could be a good year to explore the broad scope of plant possibility? Never you mind. Just seeing those blooms burst out will answer to my need for a rebirth.
Time marches on, giving rise to physical healing and to an everchanging landscape. The scilla, crocus and snowdrops have blended back to the earth; the daffodils, grape hyacinths and tulips have taken hold; while alliums, lilacs, and peonies are about to declare themselves. All this against the yellow glow of dandelions – the year’s first meal for every and any pollinator who wants to wing by. Botanic pandemonium! Entrancing.
Biophilia. Not just a hypothesis but a human necessity. Test it out, see if the affinity for other forms of nature fits you too – human, animal, insect, plant. Value those who help in these trying times. Snuggle up to a furry friend. Celebrate the longview when bees arrive. Stare for a ridiculously long time at a favoured plant…or even a plant to be. Walk under trees and feel the ground beneath your feet. For me, nature is pulling me back to myself. Is there any better year than this to claim the joy of continuity? Hobble on!