Anyone who knows me can tell my profound love for animals. Recently I have adopted more cats than I can handle! I have also (re)discovered my admiration for gardening. About a year ago, I got two Aloe Vera plants which have since multiplied with dozens of baby Aloes, many of my friends have already inherited one by now.
We live most of our lives immersed in the colourful chaos that is the modern city. We live in homes, drive in cars, work behind computers and generally spend our time indoors, surrounded by things of human invention. Even though many of us are removed from “wildness,” the simple act of bringing a plant into our house or workspace can re-ignite a sense of belonging to the natural world that is impossible to artificially replicate.
"Get lost in nature and you will find yourself"
Indeed, planting trees and plants is one of the most powerful and affordable ways to make a personal difference for the environment. And it’s fun! Having to care for plants is a good way to learn how to look after and respect life, and it helps develop an appreciation of the magic of nature. "Gardening shows us that we are but a small part of nature, and getting over such feelings of insularity and self-absorption is an automatic antidepressant," says Malati Jagasia, a child psychologist.
I try to surround myself with plants I can take care of, Aloe Vera is relatively easy plant to grow. Living in Dubai makes me miss the colour green, and I find myself getting more appreciative towards gardening. Gardening somehow reminds us of the cycle of life, doesn't it? Reminds us of how precious life is, I find it to be very therapeutical activity reliving stress and anxiety.
"The mind is like water. When it's turbulent it's difficult to see. When it's calm, everything becomes clear."
Countless studies have shown that human beings are healthier and less stressed when they are in close proximity to nature. A clear and calm mind takes us a long way.
"In a similar way to having a pet, gardening can help nurture one's mind, by providing a connection to another living thing."- says Adam Griffin, a senior occupational therapist at a centre for child and adolescent mental health. Being responsible for another living being, be it an animal friend or a green plant friend, allows for a nurturing state of mind and lifestyle. Wouldn't it be wonderful if each of had could shelter an animal and take care of a few plants? The world would certainly be a more kind and humble place. So, go head to your local nursery and buy yourself some greenery, or adopt a furry friend in need of a loving home. Of course, with a pet comes much more responsibility, however the efforts are rewarding and your pet will forever be grateful.
By the way, I still have a few Aloe Vera babies and three adorable kittens to adopt, if you are interested in a new friend!