My California friend is here for a visit and commented with awe on her surroundings; it’s as if God spray painted the earth with countless varying degrees of green!! She gazes with fresh eyes on our Georgian vista which stands in stark contrast to the drought leached state she left behind. Sometimes we, who live here, take her insightful observation of that amazing canvas for granted. Our southern environs have been vernally painted once again by the Master Artist Himself. One shade just isn’t enough for His palette. Greens of many hues drip and splatter in all directions. Skeletal silhouettes are once again impressively dressed for the occasion.
In addition to the sheer beauty and lushness of this verdant collage as a visual feast for the eyes, there are many studies out there to document the positive effects of Nature’s greenery. I confess to being a research geek. It is not that I need to be convinced, but rather I love it when what I innately feel is somehow borne out by study. God created quite an amazing world out there that science can actually validate. How cool is that?!
- There is evidence of brain-wave activity indicating relaxed states, lower frustration, and higher meditative states when moving into the green space, and just the reverse when moving out of it.
- Studies show that the calming influence of nature’s green can improve memory performance and attention span by twenty percent.
- Roadways with views of vegetation and trees rather than more urban scenes can make drivers feel a little less frustrated.
- Those who lived in the areas with the most amount of green space had lower levels of cortisol than those in more urban environments. Cortisol is a hormone produced by the human body to deal with mental and physical stress.
- Green is often used in decorating for its calming effect. For example, guests waiting to appear on television programs often wait in a “green room” to relax.
In my walk/run today, I felt the gradual calming of my restless spirit. I was feeling anxious for no apparent reason and the landscape that came to meet me was a balm for my very soul. Botanical medicine in its truest form. I, reiterate my thoughts from a previous blog-post, Green is my signature color.
I believe with all my heart that God puts everything in our world that we will need…. to feed us, sustain us, and heal us. God created all of nature and saw that it was good, before He even brought us into it. His fingerprint is everywhere in creation. We humans in our rush for progress just get in the way of what He tries to give us. We invent things and gadgets that clamor for our awareness. Our gaze and our time are diverted in a myriad of ways that take us away from the ability to notice and immerse ourselves in the primal gifts of the natural…the restorative properties….the veritable tree stars. We, in a culture where 50 Shades of Grey gets so much attention, perhaps should be shifting our focus to the 50 Shades of Green instead.
“The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. ” ~ Genesis 1:12