Don't get me wrong, I am forever grateful for the freedom that we have in this country and I know that it is something that is not obtained easily. I strive to be a kind and merciful person. But I am talking about the loss of quality human life. However, when people don't consider the other outcomes of war, those outcomes happening on our own soil, I really get kind of funky and feel like swearing my head off. We have lost many young lives permanently in combat and combat related incidents. But I want to conider something not so terminal... what about the cost of lives that have been forever altered and destroyed? Consider the new crop of veterans that are beginning to flood the Veterans Medical Centers. Very very young guys and gals. I have had my 3rd GWOT (Global War On Terror) veteran since Thanksgiving. No one is in their 30's. My heart breaks.
There is volumes of work written on PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and the positive outcomes provided by Horticulture Therapy program with this population. A very good article is entitled: "Horticulture Therapy and Post Traumatic Stress Recovery" written by Michelle Hewson also found at http://horticultureastherapy.com/Downloadable%20pdfs/ht_ptsr.pdf. In the article, she mentions how the greenhouse or being outside working with the earth is soothing in many ways. I have noticed this while working in the greenhouse this week. Being that is late winter, the days have been very cold up until today. The greenhouse was full of sunshine and protected from the cold air. I found the patients enjoying the warm air on their skin, and experiencing the different scents from the earth, to the essence of the lavender that we were working on trimming.
We talk a great deal about the cycle of life and being good stewards of the earth despite all that has happened and all that might happen. This week we were working with seeds of herbs (oregano, thyme, sage, parsley, chamomile, dill) and a few annuals (portulaca, blue bonnet) which each have different scents. One of the patient worked with me trimming the lavender topiaries and he noticed the very strong scent from the leaves and he very willingly took over the job. We talked about how plants live and die, become compost, and then hopefully, become part of the next cycle becoming fertilizer for new plants. We talk about not having total success but doing the best we can for maximum outcome.