Some of my earliest memories growing up are of being with my mother outside in the garden. We would walk in the woods together and collect leaves in the fall. I would make leaf collages or thanksgiving turkeys using oak leaves glued to paper. Together we would also work in the garden. She gave me my own little garden that was located underneath the big tree that held my tire swing. It was not a little tire swing nor was it a little tree.
Almost daily we would be outside doing things. In between playing I would work on my garden while she tended hers. We would go and collect a few bulbs of wild daffodils that had naturalized in the wild wooded areas of our property. Next trip it would be some bloodroot or maybe snowdrops. Maybe we would transplant a few ferns we found in the woods that we carefully dug up and lugged up the steep hill that was behind our house. I remember her telling me to only take one or two so as to leave the wild patch to grow on. When we were finished collecting it was near impossible to tell we had ever been there. There was a respect for the environment and for the next passerby that might also walk that same path.
I learned how to tend the
earth and developed a love for the smell of Lavender and Rosemary. The
sweet smell of the boxwood hedge that was released as the sun shown on
the leaves. Even the dirt had a wonderful woodsy smell.
It was during all these trips to the woods that I started loving plants and all things natural. As we would walk together my mother would point things out such as the large skunk cabbage that was growing along our well traveled trail. I remember the smell of the ivy that was growing down the bank and how fresh the air was in the woods. I still have a few of those wild daffodils and tiny snowdrops that date back to that first garden of mine. I have carefully dug them up and then transplanted them each and every time I moved.
Now when I walk in my own woods the smell takes me back to my youth. The memories come rushing back almost as fast as the smell registers in my brain. No matter what my mood or what weight is on my shoulders it all goes away. That is Aromatherapy.