venerdì 6 giugno 2008

When a Garden may cure

I’m taking the opportunity to name this post using the title of the Cristina Borghi’s books “Il giardino che cura (the curing garden) describing the ways through which it is possible not only to reconstruct the degrading relationships between humans and nature, but also to use eco-therapy or garden-therapy within the hospital planning. The curing capabilities of green space are widely demonstrated by now: the simple vision of a garden may notably contribute to alleviate physical and psychological suffering of patients in a hospital. In addition the possibility to re-discover the plants’ life-cycle, the re-appropriation of a space to be cultivated may also contribute to manage frustration and anxiety. A well made green space may provide a particularly complete equilibrium because it positively stimulates all the five senses: sight, contemplating colours of flowers and plants, olfaction, discovering plant and flowers’ perfumes, the sense of touch, experimenting the differences among different kind of plants, the sense of hearing, listening the sound of leaves’ whishing or water flowing. Do not forget the sense of taste if you have the possibility to cultivate a small garden with different kind of vegetables and aromatic plants. Also children may benefit from the availability of a garden according to many point of view: children should consider a green space not only as a football field or as a space in which they may run or play but also as a place where they may have something to learn. First of all they may learn that also a small garden is a complex network of living creatures with which children should positively and constructively relate. Children should learn that plants are living creatures rather than objects they can use and throw away. The possibilities to put into practice new ways of sustainable cohabitation between humans and nature are unavoidable linked to opportunity to “instil a spirit” when educating children towards these issues also on the base of their innate more spontaneous and quasi-magic sensibility towards nature (which adults very often have lost). It is thus necessary to re-construct a sensibility together with a new spirituality at the base of the relationship between children and nature in order to provide an added value to certain too cold scientific approaches (the TV documentary culture) often affecting even many positive voluntary initiatives. This is a fundamental precondition to alternative development strategies as a whole in opposition to the present culture of hedonism, uncontrolled consumption and natural resources’ devastation: educating children to recognize Nature as a living body, it will be possible to teach them the idea of “respect” (towards, plants, animals, other human beings, other cultures and also towards places – Anima Loci!) giving back to them their childhood a too hyper-technological culture everyday tends to negate and erode. Surely everyone will benefit form this both in physical and psychological terms and maybe we will start to really cure certain ideas of economics as well.

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