Connect With Nature

14 May 2021
Community gardens December 2017 (15)

Chris Jones, a member of our Community Gardens team, writes for Mental Health Awareness Week:

Around us Oak, Ash, Beech, Lime and Maple are amongst trees in our woodland that are now developing denser canopies of lush foliage, starting to create miles of shade along the well walked paths. The undergrowth is engaged, wrestling towards the openings that let columns of light bathe the forest floor. The life we see around us is a constant expression of transformation and outward manifestation, where the natural world presents a physical awakening. There are multitudes of paths to describe and evidence the imagery around us to assist in helping find parallels, metaphors and guiding narratives inspired by the natural world. For me, this time of year represents a celebration of life, memory, love, but also potential.

Therapeutic horticulture is just one branch that provides a platform to explore and examine our interactions with our environment and the relationships we have or wish to create. All levels of life share their world with a complex gathering of species that will impact upon one another in different ways. It is these eco-systems that are so valuable, especially now during times of such disconnection. Part of realising the potential in ourselves collectively comes from helping to support others who may not be able to do this for themselves. As communities, in order to live, grow and thrive, we must remain inclusive and open to change, recognising the many forms of contribution.

Effecting change can start with how we as a community facilitate connectivity. For those of whom it has been lost, damaged, eroded or never established. To find friends, space, purpose, companionship, a tribe, quiet, laughter and safety. To exemplify a message that reinforces the value of everyone so that one day…

“… the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

― Anais Nin