Tuesday, 1 March 2022

A chronic case of Topophilia


Topophilia has no cure. 

It is characterized (in winter) by symptoms such as gazing out of one's window for long periods, with a deep sense of appreciation for the shapes that snow takes - piles, drifts, wind sculpted ripples etc. Moments of unreasonable glee over the icicles hanging off the porch roof. Topophilia enhances the eyesight (or would that be "vision"?) so that the ever so slight fattening of buds high in the treetops (despite the subzero temperatures) can be observed, which will in turn produce the distinct sensation of sap rising in one's soul. 

For many, these "symptoms" are distressing. It is not well understood by the general public that the love of/for where we are (this place, this moment) is, potentially, a good thing. Trained as we are to want "more than this" or "other than this", those who gaze out of windows believe that they are (or should be) looking for something, not at what is there.

In the language of the day, perhaps topophilia should be classed as a form of neurodiversity. 

At least then there would be those who celebrate it as an "identity". 

Instead, the discomfort of unacknowledged topophilia is often called "Seasonal Affective Disorder", or "S.A.D.", and treated (at worst) with drugs or (at best) St. John'swort or (by the wealthy) a trip to somewhere else, somewhere sunny, where one can appreciate one's surroundings in a more socially acceptable way. 

Topophilia can affect anyone, but gardeners are the most likely to experience it. In spring, summer and autumn this is welcome - in winter, which for some of us is at least half the year - not so much. But, like everything, topophilia becomes easier with age, for age brings acceptance of self and the surprising discovery that what had once appeared to be faults and flaws in one's personality are, in fact, strengths.

Topophilia - the love of place. 

It's all right to feel this way. 

It is good to feel this way. 

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Medicine Chest: Prickly ash harvest, learning from the plant ..

I've already written a post (it's here) about my personal experiences using prickly ash for pain. Might be useful to read that first, then read this one.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I particularly like prickly or thorny plants. Hawthorn, rose, nettle. Motherwort with its scratchy 'crown of thorns' seed heads. And, of course, prickly ash. (Interestingly, all of these have pain relieving qualities - here we have the Doctrine of Signatures in action again ie what a plant can cause, it can treat.)

These plants also make us pay attention to where we are and what we're doing when we hang out with or harvest them. I like that singular focus required for the work. And I don't mind a bit when one of them pokes or scratches me back to the task at hand if my mind has wandered. In this world of multi-tasking as a way of life, it feels good to have hands and mind working together as one.

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Medicine Chest - birch bark (saves the day)

Don't read this if you're squeamish about feet. 'Cause this is (partly) about feet stuff. Winter weary feet, to be precise. It's about hair, too. Winter weary hair.

But if you have feet, or hair, or even both, and they're troubling you at all, you might want to read on.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Shared air

I found this post waiting patiently in my draft file; it was written before "shared air" became something that we're all being taught to avoid .. these are strange days indeed.

But in looking it over I think it may be even more relevant now than when I wrote it.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Chakra work, er no, make that chakra play!

For anyone interested in Chakra work, I've just tripped over an excellent page to explore, it's here.

Really nice illustrations.

There's a forum connected to the site as well. You really can learn the most amazing things in forums tucked away in quiet corners of the internet!

Turns out, there's a chakra I've never heard about before, positioned between the heart chakra and the throat chakra. And my goodness, it seems to be the most important one of all! (she says with tongue in cheek)

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Ease and flow, pandiculation and meditation

'Tis the winter of the nap, as far as we're concerned.

And why not? There is nothing sweeter than snuggling down for a snooze whenever we might just feel like it.

We're up before the sun most mornings anyway, in time to catch moments when the little orchard that we've created in our back yard looks like this:

Just before dawn.


Life is easy. Life just flows.

You know that moment when you wake up well rested and relaxed and you yawn and have a really delicious stretch and then just lie there for a bit?

Monday, 13 January 2020

The Sunshine Gang

There are plant allies for those of us trying to hone the skill of sustainable happiness.

I like flower essences for this, because their actions are subtle and gentle. I think the flower essences are closer to the vibration of the heart than anything else I know. I particularly like how they can be used so specifically, to light up the dark places inside us.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and what could be sunnier than a flower?