God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared. God saw that light was good and separated light from dark. God named the light Day, he named the dark Night. It was evening, it was morning— Day One
Genesis 1:3-5 (The Message)
“Light breaks the power of darkness…”
Rev. Michael Slaughter
Recently I had the occasion to talk with a client who was experiencing increased anxiety and some mild depression. As we have discussed, I believe in the equation: anxiety + time = depression. Especially in this period of COVID depression, coupled with decreased light hours due to seasonal change, we have an unfortunate confluence of negative factors which can increase the level of emotional distress. Even the remedies we typically suggest, like increased contact with peers, volunteering, and exercise, may have been significantly curtailed by the pandemic.
This particular client also had the misfortune of having a room with no windows. I suggested to him that one little thing he could do (and I typically suggest a series of “little things”) was to get some plants for his room. He was also to get some full spectrum lights (grow lights) which would help the plants thrive. The added benefit was that the lights could help him stave off the possible affects of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
The value of plants should not be underestimated. They give us something to nurture, however simple it may be. We get a sense of accomplishment when we can help sustain life, however insignificant it may seem, like a plant. Further, plants are living things. There is a symbolism, however subtle, in being surrounded by living things.
I have often spoken of the value of gardening and farming. Gardeners fully understand and appreciate the vagaries of weather, and the symbiotic relationship we have with nature and growing things. They, more than most people, understand dependence on things they cannot control, and acceptance of this precarious yet beautiful balance.
So, if you are feeling like you need something to perk you up in the coming winter, think about caring for some plants.
It is good for the soul.
Prayer: Father, thank you for the life around us, even the humble houseplants can bring joy and health, Amen