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Healing Is In Gardening

’The gardener digs in another time, without past or future, beginning or end….here is an Amen beyond a prayer’’ Derek Jarman

Gardening is in my family. My mother gardened, my Dad did too. My grandparents gardened, uncles on both sides of my family garden.

I believe that gardening is innate within us; it just takes a spark to unloose the desire to nurture plants. I watched my parents garden for years, vegetables, fruit trees, flowers. I asked my mother if I might have patch of my own but she said no. I may have fared better if I had made the request to my Dad.

The first opportunity to garden was when I was student in California. My residence had some plants so I removed weeds and sowed some seeds. It gave me pleasure in a pressured time and sustained me when I wanted to give up.

I later shared a house with two other people. I planted many spring bulbs, and perennial flowers. I don’t do annuals. The work is not rewarded for me.

My first garden that was mine brought me immense joy. Part of it was walled on two sides. Climbing roses, honeysuckle, clematis, all found home on those walls. I planted wild primroses from a friend in glorious disarray with other flowers. My planting was deliberately undisciplined. Nature knows nothing of straight lines. Imagine my horror when my mother came and put them all in lines. I was devastated.

‘’Besom lings and teasel burrs ‘’ John Clare

The soil has good bacteria and as we disturb it, we inhale them. Our immune system benefits greatly, and the scent is healing to our soul. The venture of gardening is therapy for stress, recovery after life changing events, and people with learning difficulties are given gardening to learn a skill. They flourish at it.

John Clare, the poet, was a keen gardener and he struck a close friendship with a head gardener of an estate. Their letters speak of many plants. Clare was an amateur botanist who used botanical descriptors.

We are soothed and calmed in a garden. We take in the scent of flowers, the serenity of green, the peace of it’s being. A garden is. It simply needs care. Consider this as you garden, or sit in a park.

Ling is an old word for heather, the plant. It grows wild here

Published in Know Thyself, Heal Thyself

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Foods that heal…

I have always thought my diet was pretty healthy. I saw an article written by a colleague about the link between sugar and diabetes, and some nursing homes ban sugar, but I have never heard of Alzheimer’s being called Diabetes 3.

My attention was grabbed because I load up with simple carbohydrates to keep my weight healthy. Of course, carbohydrates are converted to sugar. The pancreas has too create insulin to break down the sugar, and a high insulin production damages brain cells.

So, I have decided to add more protein and fats. Fats heal the brain, and boy does my brain need healing. So I have stocked up with nuts, butter, cheese, Skiya, yogurts, and changed back to full fat milk.

I will have carbohydrates as treats: doughnuts, cake, etc and will continue to use sweet potatoes instead of regular ones.

I already use olive oil for cooking and dressings, and I always have black olives in the fridge.

Anchovies and sardines are on my shopping list. They re both great on toast or on toasted slices of sweet potatoes. You do know toasted sweet potato is a thing? You can put whatever you want on it. Avocado with something zingy, like a bit of sweet chilli sauce, or a peppered strip of chicken.

I will need to do this slowly as my stomach can no longer handle immediate changes, and foods I used to love no longer like me.

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Sounds…





  • Sounds affect our lives whether we realise it or not. We may not notice or attribute the effect of sound, until we have a problem.
  • We notice sounds that give us a flight or fright reaction, for example, the breaking of a plate or glass, the screaming of a child, a siren. These all cause a flooding of adrenalin which enables us to respond.

Other sounds may pollute our environment or space with less noticeable effects but they all affect us on some way.

We all tend to agree that the sound of waves at the shore is peaceful and soothing. Even if classical music is not our taste, there few pieces that make our heart rates increase, or give us headaches. We tend to like birdsong, flowing streams, the wind among trees, lullabies, and, generally, human voices.

When my daughter was born, I made a low, hum sort of sound whenever I picked her up, fed her, bathed her etc. It was a sound that she associated with love and safety. When she began to cry, I would make this sound and her crying would stop almost immediately. I used this sound whenever she was upset all through her life. A few years ago, I asked her what it made her feel. She said a warm sensation, a feeling of comfort. That had been my intention when she was born.

There are sounds we hear everyday that damage our bodies. We are matter. That means that our bodies vibrate, as all matter vibrates. Sound is caused by the vibration of matter too. Drills, tractors, sirens, traffic, alarms, smoke alarms all affect us on a regular basis. If we work in a noisy environment, those sounds may be destroying cells in our body without us realising it. Some work places provide ear mufflers, but those don’t protect passers-by.

So, for me, high pitched sounds, like my neighbour’s wind chimes, dentist drills, and anything whiney is destructive. Partly because I have PTSD from having open brain surgeries. (PTSD and sound is a whole other subject.) I also know that pneumatic drills, and some synthesised music is detrimental to me.

If you get headaches, unaccountable irritability, run down, or any other symptoms that affect your life, make a note of sounds you hear regularly or around that time, and then see how you can avoid them by changing the route you walk, or changing a place you regularly drink coffee, or changing your job.

You can find an app. for your phone named Healing Sounds, or Ocean Waves. These repair damage to our bodies. Better still is plenty of walks in woods, by the sea, or a river or streams.