Like Monty Don, in his book ‘Growing Out of Trouble’, it seems the “earth keeps me sane“. I’ve come to recognise that I need to be outside some of the time each week to maintain my mental health. It’s been something that I have realised over the last year. Whether it be going for a weekend walk with the family, an afternoon at the allotment, or just an evening stroll to the seafront. If I’m feeling low, one way I can help myself is to get outside.
As a teacher I always thought that I had done well to avoid an office based job, with its connotations of stuffiness and a lack of natural light. After all, my classroom was blessed with large windows down one side, and a beautiful village green beyond them. Yet, I still spent much of my time inside, and evenings at home were usually spent working in front of the computer. In many ways this was not too far away from the office based job I prided my self in avoiding. Now I have time to go to the allotment, I can enjoy the space and fresh air of the plot, and it undoubtedly has had a positive effect on my mood. Growing things just adds to this positivity and feeling of wellbeing; again Monty Don sums it up brilliantly when he says
“we all get – and feel – better for being outside and growing things … Looking after something else always results in looking after a part of ourselves“.
He’s right, nurturing plants does fulfil something in people, allowing them to recognise what they need to do to flourish, as well as what the plants need.