For daily wit & wisdom, sign up for the Almanac newsletter.
One of the most hopeful things we can do is to plant a seed. It's an act of faith that tomorrow will come. In Hindi, the word for seed is "bija," which means "containment of life." Each seed contains an embryo and a starchy food supply—everything needed to make a new plant. Seeds are proof that life goes on.
Gardening is one of the oldest healing arts.
It gives the kind of solace that our present society cries out for. If you are finding that anxiety is becoming too much to bear, head outside for a nature fix. Plants are universal to the human experience and touch something innate in all of us.
Neurologist Oliver Sacks found, after 40 years of medical practice, that music and gardens were the two best types of non-drug therapy. "In many cases, gardens and nature are more powerful than medication," he said.
Gardening is a meditative act.
Simple acts like raking leaves and clipping back spent plants help us to gain control and bring order to one corner of our lives. Hard physical labor like digging or hoeing is a positive way to express anger and relieve tension.
Whether you are planting seedlings, picking beans, or pulling weeds, gardening requires mindfulness of the task at hand, carrying us into a meditative state of complete absorption and sweeping all thoughts of coronavirus to the side.
Refresh and hit the reset button as you let useless worries go while reconnecting with nature.
Plant a seed, plant life
Most of us will never raise enough to be self-sufficient but even if you just grow one tomato plant, the simple act of gardening will give you a great sense of accomplishment, especially when you finally get to harvest the fruits—and vegetables—of your labor. Fresh air, exercise, and homegrown produce—what could be better?
If you are healthy, stuck at home, and have a piece of ground or some containers to plant in—get growing! There are lots of plants that can be directly seeded in the ground, no transplants needed.
For vegetables, try peas, beans, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, beets, chard, carrots, and radishes.
For flowers, zinnias, marigolds, calendula, nasturtiums and sunflowers are fast growers and will quickly reward you with their bright blossoms.