Back to the Garden

“I cannot say exactly how nature exerts its calming and organizing effects on our brains, but I have seen in my patients the restorative and healing powers of nature and gardens, even for those who are deeply disabled neurologically. In many cases, gardens and nature are more powerful than any medication.” Dr. Oliver Sacks

My attention is grabbed by everything to do with gardens right now as Ottawa leans or should I say limps towards the sun. It doesn’t really matter to me; I am simply delighted that winter is done and all the gardeners are buying soil,  spades and seeds.  I am also interested in Dr. Oliver Sacks so when I spied this excerpt on gardens and healing, from his new book, I was ready. The moment I read this piece, a few days ago, I knew it had a home here, although I hadn’t planned to use it this week.

However, as my world travels have taken me in the past two weeks to the westcoast, back to Ottawa, and now an early morning flight to Calgary,  this seemed like perfect timing. A little gift to me and now to you.

This is an excerpt from “Everything in Its Place,” a posthumous collection of writings by Dr. Sacks.

Note 1:) Oliver Sacks was a neurologist and well known author of many books. He died in 2015.

Note 2:) When you read this piece, you will note there are two additional articles at the end of the excerpt, by Dr. Sacks. You may enjoy those too.

Note 3:) I will be back here next week and I am looking forward to seeing former colleagues and the wonderful members at Wellspring Calgary. Many thanks to all of you dear readers who show up here week after week and even tell others. I appreciate you all. Warm regards, Trudy



5 replies
  1. Margaret Rode
    Margaret Rode says:

    Thank you so much for this reminder, Trudy, as I look out at my own garden that is just waking up. I have always known that working in the soil with my hands was beneficial for me, but like Dr. Sacks did not know exactly the mechanism at work. Now, with all the new research identifying specific organisms and substances in the soil that have anti-depressive qualities, I feel as though it makes so much sense. Those, plus the Sun, and the movement of my body in the fresh air, not to mention the possibility of fresh food and flowers… These are gardener’s high holy days after a long sleep. Safe travels.

    • T Boyle
      T Boyle says:

      Hi Margaret. I just landed in Calgary and read your thoughtful message. Gardening and music are intuitively healing and rejuvenating and now we are learning more of the why. Thank you for your comments. Enjoy your garden.

  2. Meghan Innes
    Meghan Innes says:

    I can’t wait to see our own garden come to light in the next few weeks! Maybe all the ice and snow will finally be gone once you arrive back here. 🙂

  3. Patti Morris
    Patti Morris says:

    We are all eagerly awaiting the Wellspring garden that thanks to Sue Murphy, her dear family, our members and volunteers, It fills us up in all of it’s splendor. Dr. Sacks wise words ring true. Thanks for sharing this Trudy.


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