GOOD GREEN THINGS
I love those grey, rainy Seattle days
since wet weather also guarantees a vibrant lush green space all year long. Even in overcast weather there are is green everywhere in so many hues and so much depth and variety that I can’t help but feel overcome, even on regular walks around the neighbourhood.
Between visits I start to crave that “Seattle after the rain” smell, and all those moments where I stop in my tracks to take in so many new-to-me plants and flowers. Even that acid green moss growing over the sidewalk.
In Seattle I feel like I can strike some sort of deal with my Seasonal Affective Disorder. In Ontario it can be dark and cold forever and the landscape gets stark, hard, colourless. There’s no recompense for the rain and snow. But in the Pacific Northwest it feels like things grow so fast you can see it happening.
Flowers just feel better
Ever since I have learned to pay attention to how the weather outside affects my mood, I try to take care of myself by being attentive to my own plantlike qualities, strange as that may seem. It’s hard for me to grow and blossom in the winter. I lean into a warm sunbeam like a flower unfurling its petals.
That correlation is real, though. There’s actual science supporting the idea that proximity to green space helps people cope in stressful environments. Being outside, being near things that are growing is such a healing thing to do. Being in nature helps your mind focus and helps bodies heal.
My Volunteer Park Conservatory afternoon
was as magical as a few hours wandering around in a new city can possibly get. Walking into the greenhouse, I peeled off a few layers of sweaters and wandered around quietly, having my mind blown over and over. It wasn’t an enormous place but it had that feeling of deep calm.
If I lived nearby I feel like I would go every time I start to feel down. Since I can’t do that though, I took a bunch of photos.
Never ever fails to remind me of some of my best philosophy-student years, reading Spinoza with some of my very best friends. Spinoza had the right idea:
It is the part of a wise [person], I say, to refresh and restore [themselves] in moderation with pleasant food and drink, with scents, with the beauty of green plants, with decoration, music, sports, the theater, and other things of this kind, which anyone can use without injury to another. For the human body is composed of a great many parts of different natures, which constantly require new and varied nourishment, so that the whole body may be equally capable of all the things which can follow from its nature, and hence, so that the mind also may be equally capable of understanding many things. – Spinoza, Ethics, IVP45S