oliver sacks was a physician, best-selling author, and professor of neurology at the NYU school of medicine. he wrote musicophilia, awakenings, and the man who mistook his wife for a hat. i am currently reading a quirky little book of his on ferns (he was an avid fern enthusiast) called oaxaca journal. It’s not quite a travel journal, not quite a personal journal–but whatever it is, it’s entirely interesting. i stumbled on this quote of his on maria popova’s brainpickings this weekend. i found it STILL-worthy, so I am sharing it with you:
“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…Clearly, nature calls to something very deep in us. Biophilia, the love of nature and living things, is an essential part of the human condition. Hortophilia, the desire to interact with, manage, and tend nature, is also deeply instilled in us. The role that nature plays in health and healing becomes even more critical for people working long days in windowless offices, for those living in city neighborhoods without access to green spaces, for children in city schools, or for those in institutional settings such as nursing homes. The effects of nature’s qualities on health are not only spiritual and emotional but physical and neurological. I have no doubt that they reflect deep changes in the brain’s physiology, and perhaps even its structure” —Oliver Sacks in the essay “Why We Need Gardens”
hope you are all having a good week. today is the last day of school for my 15-year-old. soon our household will switch from windowless academic schedules to biophilic summer schedules. i am ready to be healed.
lily of the valley