Though we may occasionally argue about what a garden is, I think we can all agree that what a garden does is cast a “spell of the present.”
I loved this eminently quotable piece from Diane Ackerman a couple days ago in The New York Times entitled “Are We Living in Sensory Overload or Sensory Poverty?”
“The further we distance ourselves from the spell of the present, explored by our senses, the harder it will be to understand and protect natureâ€™s precarious balance, let alone the balance of our own human nature.”
“One solution is to spend a few minutes every day just paying close attention to some facet of nature….for whole moments one may see nothing but the flaky trunk of a paper-birch tree with its papyrus-like bark. Or, indoors, watch how a vase full of tulips, whose genes have traveled eons and silk roads, arch their spumoni-colored ruffles and nod gently by an open window.”
And the killer opening to the last paragraph:
“On the periodic table of the heart, somewhere between wonderon and unattainium, lies presence…”
Ms. Ackerman’s book, “A Natural History of the Senses,” sounds like it’s right up my alley.