Everything you need

One of the current frustrations of being housebound is the way the outdoors calls to us. Our daily walking allowance aside, our household is lucky to have a garden, modest and tiny though it is. In addition to weeding, we’ve stated small by sowing some peas to grow into pea-shoots and micro greens. The trees are slow to come into leaf here in the north of England, I see the lilac just beginning to sprout, and I am ravenous for green shoots.

IMG_20200404_150435Any form of gardening, even growing some herbs on a windowsill, is obvious therapy right now. It…

  • Keeps you connected with the bigger picture, nature, the seasons, the natural cycle of life and so fights self-preoccupation.
  • Gives you something you can control, nurture, manage, at a time when so much feels out of our own hands.
  • Provides an activity—at least in the form of harvesting—that releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps transmit signals of reward and pleasure.
  • Soil, apparently, can even be an anti-depressant. At least, a study by the University of Bristol in partnership with University College London found that exposing mice to ‘friendly’ bacteria found in soil, altered their behaviour in a similar way to the effect produced by antidepressants.

I do not normally post uncontextualized quotes, but in honour of the spring-like weather we’re having here, I cannot resist a few that may be timely. Perhaps there will be one you can pick that helps you. Or perhaps you have your own favourite?

“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” Margaret Atwood in Bluebeard’s Egg (1983).

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Ralph Waldo Emerson in essay Nature (1836)

“There is no time like Spring, when life’s alive in everything.” Christina Rossetti in Spring (1847?)

‘Getting Dirty May Lift Your Mood’, University of Bristol, 2007 http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2007/5384.html
Featured image
Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash


15 thoughts on “Everything you need

  1. Lovely. Especially the quotes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Writers that can condense so much meaning and image into a single phrase – in awe.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful quotes – the garden and the library one was my favorite. Stay safe my dear

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My favourite too 🙂 Take care.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful post including the inspiring quotes.
    I agree that being outdoors is mental health therapy. Whether it’s planting or just getting exercise in the fresh air, it’s so important. Stay well and thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked them all- and the one where you should smell like dirt at the end of the day made me chuckle (my kids agree!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This reminds me, it’s time for my walk. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I know it’s a cliché, but there is such a special relationship of the English with their gardens… The house we lived in, in Nairobi, was designed including the magnificent garden by an old English gentleman. I’ve never seen a garden like that afterwards… Enjoy your garden. I went back to your “about”. You know Libre also means free in Frog, right?
    Be good.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it’s a version of an old nickname from Elizabeth. When I used it, my mother said it sounds made up – I pointed out that it sort of is! A real nickname, yet not a given name. Alas, our garden is not one of the greats! The mild climate in Nairobi must have been wonderful for growing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I “Made up”? I’d say chosen. 😎
        At least you have a garden… That’s a plus. And yes, the Nairobi climate was perfect.
        Cheers Libre.


  7. I have a garden and a library … our libraries are working too (in the city). Seems I have all I need in this dark difficult (depressing time…).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds perfect 🙂 I wonder if libraries will be one of the things to re-open here. Though I have amended my needs and added the hairdresser!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe… our library allows only 50 ppl at a time (now). I mean in the building

        I’m scared to go to hairdresser 💇‍♀️ …have to wait.

        I’d like a cleaner …cuz cleaning is the most boring job. But!! I clean a lot when I have to edit 😂😂🕺


  8. Been enjoying my little iso patio garden 😊


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