Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Nature Shapes

by Leigh

Many people don't give much thought to leaves.  A leaf is part of a plant…it's green….sometimes they turn colors….they make a mess in my backyard…yaddda yadda yadda.  But I'm one of those people who can't help but turn my attention to leaves.  It's almost like they call out to me saying, "Hey Leigh…over here…notice me!  Check out my cool swirls and delicate edge.  If you will just look closely at me you will find a whole new world!".  Seriously…I hear voices.  Ok maybe not voices…but my eye is just naturally drawn to the nature world around me.  And it's not just leaves that call out, but petals and seed pods and bark and tree silhouettes.  I have this need to be in nature.  The best cure for feeling down is to breathe in some fresh air, surround myself with gorgeous greens, feel the warmth of the sunshine and listen to the birds. 

While preparing for this post I started to wonder if anyone else felt the same way I do.  I discovered that there is actually a word for it.  It's called biophilia or an attraction to nature.  When you experience a sense of well being and relaxation while walking through a park or garden, that may be biophilia.  The Biophilia Hypothesis suggests that there is an "instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems."   This term was first used by Erich Fromm to describe a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital.  Unlike phobias, which are aversions and fears, philias are the attractions and positive feelings that people have. In this day and age people spend the majority of their time indoors and children spend more time on electronic devices than outdoors in nature.  This is why biophilic design is more important than ever.  As a landscape designer (kind of obvious now why I chose that career) I am finding more and more people wanting outdoor rooms.  It's not just about curb appeal anymore it's a desire to spend more time living outside.  Our physical and mental well being need this time in nature. For me, my sanity depends on it!

"Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."
Hans Christian Andersen


Carol said...

I am DEFINATELY a biofile! No question about it at all. Water, trees , leaves, sun,wind,rain, snow - I will take it all, please. I find it hard to think about retiring in a place without seasons. I wonder if the title includes love of animals? Anyway -I'm in.

Cathy H. said...

Yes, I am a biophiliac. Until today I didn't know there was a word for it. Part of each and every day must be spend outside or I get in a rather cranky mood! I feel reverence and awe when I'm in nature. I become calm and peace flows over me as I step outside. We are blessed with such a beautiful world.

kelly said...

preaching to the choir here I think leigh. :) and I think especially in this highly technology driven world it's more important than ever to seek out nature. so much peace and clarity to be found.

Dotti said...

Yes, I think all of us, whether we realize it or not, experience an enhanced sense of well-being when we're in nature, or have a bit of nature in our homes and workplaces. Just yesterday I found the first two teeny crocuses in my yard and my heart filled with joy!

What Kelly says is so true, too - in our fast-paced world, staying in touch with nature is essential to our overall well-being and health. Thank you for sharing some great thoughts and facts here today, Leigh!

terriporter said...

Add me to the list of biophiliacs in this group! I definitely need a certain amount of time outside enjoying nature to be happy. And I think photography has taught me to be even more observant to the beauty of the world around me and to be grateful for it.

Deanna said...

I love when spring begins its emergence so I can wander thru it's beauty. It lights up my soul. I am definitely in the biophiliacs group and aren't we lucky!!

Liz said...

I can totally relate! I am a Biophiliac too. I love being outdoors surrounded by nature. It gives me a sense of peace.

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