One of the gifts of the Pandemic Stay-at-Home experience is that Sheila deepened her love of gardening and developed quite a mastery of the art. She started with our side yard and then worked with some neighbors in our community “secret garden” that is filled with perennial flowers, blooming shrubs, and creeping ground cover. Along with the bird feeders, I put up, we’ve got a very active little eco-community right by our home.
Just the other day, we stopped and looked at her latest effort which is the Fern and Hosta Garden across from our front door. Again, with the same committed crew of gardening colleagues, this previously barren space is now filled with growing fronds of different sizes and shapes. The Hostas are another story as our neighborhood bunny rabbits seem to find the growing leaves too delectable to pass up.
My wife describes herself as a dancing social worker, but I think of her as an artist of many genres, author, speaker and performer. She is a true creative. I often say that the great thing about living with an artist is that we always must have beauty in our lives and at the same time, the challenging thing about living with an artist is that we always must have beauty in our lives.
There is, however, no disputing that the addition of her nature artistry is an immeasurable gift. During my day, I find myself taking a break and enjoying the variety of plants, flowers, bees, birds, and butterflies who frequent the yard. It slows me down and creates a sense of comfort in my day.
In talking with clients and friends, many of us continue to feel the stress and strain of our current challenges at work and in how we view the world. We may not be able to impact those larger events and yet we can do something for ourselves that reduces the intensity and even promotes a more positive and uplifting experience. It can be enjoying your neighborhood garden, taking a trip to a museum, or going out and watching a beautiful sunset.
Bringing art, culture and beauty into our lives is a surefire way to build our resilience and mitigate our stress. Even one of our nation’s founding parents recognized it’s importance and believed it was what he was fighting for in the quest for independence
“I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to
study mathematics and philosophy, in order to give their
children a right to study painting, poetry, music, statuary,
tapestry and porcelain.”
If you get a chance this week, bring some art and beauty into your life. You’ll find it comforting.
© Richard Citrin 2022