There is a school of thought called ecopsychology that is very intriguing. One renowned expert in the field, Dr. Michael Cohen has written a book titled, “The Web of Life Imperative”.
It fascinates me. To paraphrase what Dr. Cohen believes, he says that nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and spiritual satisfaction. In other words, nature-connected people enjoy greater health and more peaceful relationships.
Makes sense to me. How can we remove ourselves from nature when we are part of it ourselves?
But, we have. We have all gotten so busy in our lives with work and obligations that we don’t take the time to immerse ourselves in nature. When we do take the time to relax, it is often by taking part in man-made entertainment. (As discussed in Lindsay Torry’s blog post, “Over-consumption”.) It is time to wake up and get back to the basics. Or at least find ways to bring nature inside.
If you haven’t started to return to nature, start now. Take baby steps at the least. The feel good rewards will soon follow.
My own story of color
Years ago while in college (Go Hokies!!) my summer job was with the Parks and Recreation Department in my hometown – Roanoke, VA. Throughout the county we had free summer camps set up for neighborhood kids to attend every day. I was a camp counselor at one of the schools. If you ask me it was a great set-up for parents. We opened camp around nine in the morning and closed at five. It was free babysitting for the parents and built-in fun for the kids. We took field trips, did arts and crafts and played all sorts of games both inside the school gym as well as on the playing fields. (It was even with a busload of camp kids that I first saw the movie, Jaws.)
One summer as head counselor, I came up with a great idea for an art project. I decided we should paint all the picnic tables as they were in terrible shape. Now mind you, this was in the 70’s. It wouldn’t happen today- too much red tape I’m sure or worse yet, someone might be allergic to the paint! So, at a time before rules and regulations were extreme, I took it upon myself to spiff up the picnic tables. The kids loved the idea.
What color to paint them became the tough decision to make. The school colors? The colors of the rainbow? Psychedelic? Everyone had an opinion. So, after a few hours of open debate I made the executive decision to choose the colors myself.
The colors of nature
I looked up at the sky. I saw a beautiful blue. I looked down at my feet. I saw lush green grass. Blue. Green. The basic colors of nature. Perfect!
The next day we started. Painting the tables outdoors was easy peasy, too. No mess to worry about as nature would eventually wash it away!
I have to admit at first some of the kids were unhappy. They were hoping for something far more creative. But, I had previously explained to them the reasons why these colors would work and once the job was completed, they agreed.
We had brought nature harmoniously together.
Every day that we sat at the tables for lunch, arts & crafts or just to hang out, we connected with the colors of nature.
Bring the colors of nature in to your space
So, my “Helpful Hannah Tip” for you is to bring nature inside by adding splashes of blue and green throughout your homespace.
Regardless of décor, style or taste every homespace should infuse these basic colors of nature.
Have a modern style with a monochromatic theme? No problem, simply decorate with live green plants in your homespace. Or add fresh flowers to your homespace like hydrangeas or plants such as African Violets with shades of blue flowers.
Use only black and white for your colors? Why not add splashes of green and blue in accent pillows or sofa throws?
Like sticking to a neutral scheme such as varying shades of taupe? Why not accent with artwork depicting scenes of nature?
Every homespace décor can find some way to infuse these primary colors of nature. Just look around you, I bet you have more ways in your home than you realize.
Ways to bring nature’s colors inside
If you are looking for suggestions, here are few ways to add colors of nature into your space:
- Collectibles such as glassware
- Framed photographs of family in nature
- Fresh flowers
- Coffee table books
- Baskets to store things in
- Throw pillows
As the saying goes, “The sky’s the limit”! Get busy and bring nature inside!