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  • Writer's pictureFiona Prior

The nature of Nature

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

The healing properties of nature have been a theme for me over this long weekend. We all know how good interaction with nature is for those of us who suffer depression or anxiety and have all heard of those successful campaigns where troubled teenagers are transported from the city to live and work in rural environments and schmooze with animals. We also are aware of the healing properties of so many substances straight from nature … turmeric, honey, aloe vera, ginger, garlic, camomile to name a few. Go Mother Nature.

My interest was piqued when I heard a portion of a segment on Radio National talking about a number of seaweed/kelp farms along the US coastline. This protein and iron rich substance can not only fortify the dietary needs of humans but also ‘heal’ damaged eco-systems including (ta da!) the regeneration of coral reefs and pollution damaged sea and ocean beds. That's the provision of nutrient rich food, data harvesting and restorative eco system services all rolled into a commercially competitive product! Please, please some innovative entrepreneurial 'Henry-reader', make Australia’s Barrier Reef Great again.

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On theme, along with ‘doing’ a honey face mask with a friend (messy fun) was an outing to the most recent film adaption of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s old classic ‘The Secret Garden’. For those who are not au fait with the story, it is the tale of two young children who have lost their mothers and how a hidden garden heals the physical debilitation of one, and the emotional wounds of the entire household.

The magic of this garden is symbolised by extravagant and verdant lushness. Apparently hundreds of gardens were filmed, pieced together and enhanced to give this magic place a hyper-real/dappling wonder. In the film, the garden is incongruously hidden behind an overgrown wall on a property in the heart of a bleak and war-rationed England. The story is the discovery of secrets surrounding the death and burial of the young boy’s mother in this magic/sacred place that we discover to be so full of her continuing love and care.

I adored every bit of this movie. Disclaimer is that I tend to fall as much for concepts of a work as the actual work itself. When it comes to a fictional piece exploring a mother’s love –or instinct for nurturing even beyond death – it does a beautiful job. (*Seriously though, could any piece of fiction ever surpass the reality of those dead mothers in Mexico City after the 1985 earthquake whose bodies continued to produce milk to feed the infants they had physically shielded from the deluge!). Maternal wiring is indomitable.

The Secret Garden’ is a gorgeous outing. You’ll feel cocooned by this warm tale with its uplifting ending.

Emotional magic.

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