Nature Bathing
An habitual saviour that never speaks
The garden path

Rapid pace when
Meander when depressed
Intersecting with friends, words, events
A moment of noticing, lifting out of the me and into the world.

There are moments when
I don’t trust my brain
Internal conversations too intense
Conflate, spiral, hide truths and realities
Find fear and fault
Force isolation

Until I move my feet
Solid ground
Coolness in shadows

My brain, inside my brain
In side, front, mid, right, not right brain
A thin off-the-page pencil stroke, to notice
Insects breezing past
Wings above me a temporary sky
Rose petals beds

Truths that I can trust

I walk
The Orb
Suspended wheels in front of me
A rhythm of seeking
Pieces of mind

Depression prefers an indoor environment
Electricity in my nerves
Stones in my speech

I walk. Habit.
Nature bathing my ills
These gardens paths until I am aware of;
The frivolous presentation of green.
Green, olive, grey, brilliant, Australian greens
Wattle, whites, burnt walnuts dusty with pink

Soothing follicles
Carbon sink
Taking the bad

I walk. I hear
Infectious joy
A smile so wide it’s all teeth careens towards me
No thought to decorum.
Others opinions
Fit of clothing
Workloads due
Ducks fawned on, eels be squealed at
Birds in groups, pigeon, seagull, ducks,
those little black ones with the red beaks,
long legs, glistening feathers, poking, defiance, power plays
groupings to be run through
in the time honoured task of ‘getting them’
Pursued by millions of children
Worldwide and here on this day
Reminding adults
of the important endeavour of play

I walk. I see
Skeleton leaf
Offering path ways of its own.
Highways, laneways, junctions, splits and diversions
Formed from decay
Having fallen
The minor of the species,
Not the kernel holding the future,
Not the trunk holding the present, dispensable.
In this experience

I walk. I feel
The gift of space
I am tethered.

In 2021, we celebrated 50 years of Wollongong Botanic Garden with poems connecting plants, people and place. As part of our New Shoots program, we collaborated with Wollongong Botanic Garden to commission a series of poems, including 'Shinrin Yoku' by Lillian Rodrigues-Pang, and produce a number of workshops, installations and activities.