Some days it doesn’t take much to restore myself to balance, just a quiet walk amongst the trees. There is medicine in their dappled light. There’s a kind of therapy to the enigmatic tree shadows and soft sunlight dancing together on my skin.
It doesn’t take much to stand beneath their tender creaking branches and to close my eyes while they breathe healing over me. I forget the curative potential of simple things like this when I’m swept up by life’s complex currents, lost in the ever present pattern of busyness or bogged down by expectations, demands and the pressure to survive. But it doesn’t take much to step aside from it all for a moment, to feel the vibrant earth under my feet and let the scents of damp soil and rain soaked trees seep into my pores.
Every day, Mother Earth reminds me that healing doesn’t always have to be hard. It can be as easy as taking the time. It can be as simple as making the space. It can be as effortless as being open, showing up and allowing something beyond myself to pour a restorative balm into my soul. It can be as crazy, yet uncomplicated and peaceful, as walking slowly between ancient trees – standing people, wisdom keepers and great restorers of the burdened heart – and just breathing in the unassuming medicine of their enchanting splays of dappled light.
When you find yourself in a sticky moment, overwhelmed by life’s challenged, would you be willing to go into their presence and rest your heart in their midst? Just for a little while. A small dose of shinrin yoku may be just the thing to guide you back home to the peace of your inner essence.
The other morning, I stood there at the water’s edge in the gentle rain. Willow trees drooped around me and raindrops danced on the waters surface. I breathed in the peaceful earthy scents of wet trees and earth as I gathered inspiration for my writing, quietly listening out for wild stories and earth whispers. My heart came alive in a special way and in that moment, I understood so clearly what John Muir meant when he said….
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” ~ John Muir
Where do you go to witness beauty or gather inspiration? And where do you find your peace and healing?
“I always wanted to live in Vermont, and because I always get my own way, this is where I settled. The first thing I did was plant daffodils ~ over a thousand. The road was impassable, so I carried them in by backpack. And my rhododendrons I brought in through a foot of snow in a wheelbarrow.”
~ Tasha Tudor
What makes a woman carry a thousand bulbs on her back up a snowy cliff to plant a dreamy field of daffodils? And what makes her wheelbarrow loads of rhododendrons through a foot of snow?
The idea of it takes my breath away, because the vision that inspired her to do so must have been so grant, wild and almost otherworldly.
Delicate flowers and the wildness of Nature clearly resonated deeply with Tasha Tudor, so much so that she gave them centre stage in her life. Her profound passion strongly influenced her home, the way that she lived and her work as an illustrator. As it turns out the magnificent garden that Tasha Tudor nurtured into being was something quite extraordinary – vast expanses of flowering beauty like a picture straight out of a fairy tale world – and she, the hands and heart behind the master creation was just as extraordinary a person too.
When I see the pictures of Tasha Tudor’s garden and read about her life, it reminds me just how the wild essence within propels us towards extraordinary things. There are seeds and visions in our hearts so full the big things that are possible. There are yearnings and whispers that pull us towards so many things deemed unimaginable. Too often we dismiss them because they don’t fit the mould of what we’re told is reasonable or acceptable in modern day terms. But is there really any real reason why you cannot allow the pull of your wild soul to propel you towards extraordinary things?
What would happen if you said yes to planting a thousand hope-filled bulbs in the wild flowering meadow of your own heart soil? How much would be possible if we gave the brave stirrings within even half the chance that we give the voices of doubt?