Sally and I are taking a very short break to spend time with our friends and families over the holidays. We’ll be back early in 2010 with renewed energy and ideas to share with you. With new light of the winter solstice I find myself looking for inspiration, walking in the woods, sleeping and eating more than usual, trying to give my computer a break, taking my camera out of the kitchen and letting my thoughts ramble.
I picked up Winter Hours by Mary Oliver at the library and loved this passage, ” Sometimes I think, were I just a little rougher made, I would go altogether to the woods — to my work entirely, and solitude, a few friends, books, my dogs, all things peaceful, ready for meditation and industry — if for no other reason than to escape the heart-jamming damages and discouragements of the world’s mean spirits. But, no use. Even the most solitudinous of us is communal by habit, and indeed by commitment to the bravest of our dreams, which is to make a moral world. The whirlwind of human behavior is not to be set aside.”
An article in the NY Times a few weeks ago keeps coming back to me. It was in the Science Times section and was called, In a Month of Giving, a Healthy Reward by Tara Parker-Pope. It’s about a young woman who, recently diagnosed with MS, was heading into depression and addiction. She was given advice by a South African medicine woman to stop focusing on her ill health and give away 29 gifts for 29 days. The young woman, Cami Walker, followed this advice and while her MS wasn’t completely cured, her overall health improved dramatically. She wrote a book, 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change your Life , to document the positive effect giving had on her health and life. Parker-Pope documents several studies and authorities that seem to confirm the premise that daily giving may be as important to your health as taking your multi-vitamins.
Just in case you’re trying to think of someone to give to, Seattle Youth Garden Works is one of our favorite organizations and has just launched a fund-raising campaign. Seattle Youth Garden Works has provided essential garden-based training programs for Greater Seattle’s homeless and at-risk youth since 1995.
Wishing you all happy and healthy holidays. Hope to see you in the New Year.