I have to admit I never quite knew depression. Standing in the greenhouse of a local nursery, I knew I wanted bright colored flowers. Something cheery I thought as the store clerk directed me to ones that can handle full sun. Mystics say you should stare at the sun a few seconds each day, and I do. Direct shot of vitamin D and all that to improve your mood.
Only truth is, so many are suffering. I wonder if we have enough star in the sky to zap everyone back. Back to life and art and the real things on this planet that matter. I took my annuals home with a bag of fertilizer thinking I’ll just YouTube how to plant them, water them.
My hands fumbled to dig out enough dirt to nestle in the roots. My fingernails filled with fertilizer, and a part of me didn’t like the mess because we’re taught to keep life clean and digging in dirt felt unruly.
One in ten people suffer from depression daily. And someone dies of suicide about every thirteen minutes. That’s insane. That’s not me, right? How many of you have a strong friend going through it. How many of you don’t usually get down, but are?
Our psychological struggles are a disconnect from nature.
We need to get dirty, we need to dig our fingernails in the ground—to save ourselves. From an anxious society, from social media and advertising that sells fear. From a culture that moves too quickly and keeps you in states of ‘activity.’ We are longing…for nature.
As I watered my new friends, The Marigolds in their orange pot I felt relief. A sense of connection and pride for these flowers which I vow to take care of. Get your feet on the ground, actual ground. Place your toes between rocks and soil, and ocean if you can.
We are a resilient species. But we need sun and water and light to thrive. Just like my marigolds, I need attention and love, and so do you. Ask your friends how they are doing, listen to their answers. We all need reminders these days.
Slow down, drop out of some commitments. Plant something, anything—and care for it, while you care for you.
(for Jason, RIP)