• Ayee

Tending to the Earth

Working with the ground increases serotonin levels. It's interesting how the Earth rewards you when you take care of her - she makes you feel good & emotionally healthy. Interestingly, as well, is how even the Earth has a brain connected to our own nervous system. Brain is not just in the head. It is chemical & social. We format our brains & bodies according our experiences & relationships - it moulds itself according to what we expose ourselves to. So what are you exposing yourself to? That I just bonded with Earth is cool.

Depression & anxiety is caused by a lack of neurotransmitters circulating in the body - which may be alleviated by earthing practises like gardening, which increases serotonin levels - part of the peripheral nervous system under the afferent receptors, monoamines, responsible for cognitive & emotional processes, having to do with reward sensations.

When you don't have these your moods drop. You feel depressed, anxious, lethargic, moody, ugly, icky, etc. Enjoying earthing practise helps alleviate this growing health concern. Just bond with the earth!

Early morning work seems best when all is quiet & even the sun is still priming up, still cool. We have several vegetable seedlings we are preparing to plant in the earth & seeing if some are best planted on the Earth itself or on pots... My neighbors are experts so I interview them daily. They rise at 6AM to tend to their garden Earth plots as well so I take inspiration from them & ask them questions to learn. The kalabasa & sitaw (squash/pumpkin & string beans), they said, should be planted on the soil itself so it grows & crawls on your wall. The rest may be planted on pots so you control their growth & spread. I have carrots, turmeric, local spinach, okra & gourd yet to transfer onto Earth or pots, while the kalabasa & sitaw have been planted, along with the eggplant.

Our street chairman is really cool & is teaching us how to create overhangs so vines can crawl on them using bamboo sticks & he is selling other seedlings he has grown besides teaching urban farming techniques so we are preparing to hold space for ampalaya (bitter gourd), kangkong, & other veggies yet - one day at a time - 2 hours first thing in the morning. I love how the soil grounds & relaxes me.

To prep the soil & soften it, I made sure to water it all first with the garden hose, before I began the planting work. It made me see all the plants growing in our garden while thoughts settled in my head, & it made me appreciate how they've been there all my life growing under my nose while I didn't mind them & they are still thriving now even as I water them. How resilient Life is. She always finds a way - all ways, independent of me. But now, well, lovely, cos I get to participate & appreciate.

In this few moments I got to spot how the yellow gumamela flower bloomed or opened with the morning. It was squeezed tight when I first got out & took her photo & now she is fully opened for the day.

An exotic orchid was probably spread by the bees cos I saw one growing on the soil - very exotic shaped leaves suddenly growing a tongue shaped deep fuchsia flower with its pistil sticking out - a deep fuchsia, as well, from the ground - reminding that, anywhere, exotic beauty can greet & surprise you. I saw all her relatives growing in the garden & excited for them all to bloom. Bloom. Bloom, I said! 😄

The guava trees are doing well & we have at least 10 baby pink guava fruits preparing to ripen. I made sure to cover them with plastic so the bats won't get to them first - cos they love the taste of the pink guava!

A nice bush is also growing at the side of the gate wall... looks like jasmine or sampaguita cos the flowers are small & white. I saw some buds slowly growing - everything started growing big & faster when we fattened the soil & when the rain started coming (or maybe they were always there & since I am paying attention to them now I can see them?). Perhaps it'll be clearer once the buds are better grown & I can identify them.

How is the start to your day?

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