I recently watched a documentary on the life of Juliette de Bairacli Levi, “Juliette of the Herbs,” and I was deeply moved by the way she lived wholly in tune with nature as an herbalist, author, pioneer of veterinary medicine and traveler in search of knowledge in nature’s fields. What struck me about Juliette’s way of being in the world was her unwavering kindness toward life. The way she befriended her garden, the lemon and olive trees, cared for animals, and lived by taking only what she needed with gratitude for the abundance she trusted would always be present. The pulse of life she recognized and revered through observing nature’s intelligence paved the way for a powerful co-creative relationship that was truly life-giving as a healer and a human being.
When I think of our homes, nature is certainly not excluded from our modern daily experiences although sometimes it can feel at a distance, especially in the city. Perhaps, it’s easy to think of nature as ‘out there’ rather than an intrinsic part of life we are profoundly inter-connected with. Here are a few questions that may be of interest for reflection to determine how connected you feel to nature at this time.
- Do you take time to be nourished and immersed in nature?
- Do you have plants in your home? Do you care for them with love and kindness?
- Do you take time to be present with the animals in your life?
- Do you enjoy taking in the nature that surrounds your home and neighbourhood?
- Are the cleaning products you’re using at home in harmony with nature?
- Do you bring reusable bags with you to the grocery store?
- How do you feel about spiders and tiny insects you may encounter in your house?
- Are you mindful of the energy and resources you use at home in your daily rhythms?
I’m thankful for all the ways I feel called to experience nature in seen and unseen ways. Our family garden, thanks to my father’s stewardship, has ensured that I still get my hands and feet dirty despite living in the city, as well as my ongoing interest in forest food gardening, healing herbs and consciously working with plant essences and the subtle energy of nature to support life. However you may feel drawn to nature, I invite you to bring that awareness into your home and to follow your inspiration. In my experience, when we open ourselves to be nourished by nature with mutual care and respect, the wisdom and sheer beauty revealed is magnificent.
p.s. Last year’s late fall harvest – thanks for all your hard work dad and ensuring we always take time to be in the garden. Looking forward to this year’s garden adventures!