Inviting in the WildSep 30, 2022 08:30AM ● By Marlaina Donato
A midst the whirlwind of our daily busyness, Mother Nature goes about her own affairs, conjuring everyday miracles from the humble trinity of tangled roots, dark soil and sunlight. On our way to our next task, we might catch snippets of afternoon gold blur past in a window, but we may long for more time to accept October’s invitation of long shadows.
Having an indoor haven touched with nature’s balm takes the edge off the work-at-home days, the can’t-catch-a-breath days and the won’t-stop-raining days. Bringing a bit of the outside in helps us to remember the big picture. The 12th-century mystic and healer Hildegard of Bingen called the energy of the Earth veriditas, or greenness, and it is easy to tap into this life force by aligning our senses with the rhythms of nature.
Beauty is an often forgotten necessity, but can gently lead us back on track when we place a vase of fresh flowers, pine branches or wild rose hips on a windowsill. Designating one wall in the house for a photographic tapestry of spring cherry trees, mountain snow, a turquoise beach or majestic oaks can lower blood pressure just as effectively as actually being there. Keeping a “scent jar” on the desk filled with dried garden basil, bee balm or sweet grass clippings from the lawn can give us a breath of summer all year long. Placing a piece of found driftwood, preserved birch or a bowl of handmade potpourri on a coffee table can make afternoon breaks more mindful. A simple table fountain can bless any space with the harmony of its waters. Creating a “changing season” shelf and celebrating the hour invites the whole family to contribute to inspired whimsy.
Even if we simply place found branches in a basket with amber holiday lights in a cozy corner, living more closely with nature can help us maintain core serenity. The dance of each season is brief, but tuning into their wealth can make our own dance a bit more magical.
Marlaina Donato is an author, composer and painter.