January 31, 2021

Can A Prescription Of Arts And Nature Improve Our Wellbeing?

Beag Horn

PoetryKeep Dancing, 2020

During a worrying period of uncertainty in lockdown, I stared at a vase of dying bluebells and was compelled to describe them in a poem.

There was time to dwell on something ordinary and seemingly insignificant. And the poem took me out of myself, beyond a clinical description of the object in front of me, into fantasy and a connection with childhood stories. Then, as I studied the bluebells, there came a recognition of the cycle of nature: as the plant dies, it sets down the seeds of new life.

I asked a question of the reader to engage them in the discussion of life, death and the perpetuity of hope found even in something so small. The poem had become something I had not expected and the writing of it had been a complete distraction from daily personal worries. There is a move towards prescribing arts and nature to treat mental health issues and I would like to explore this and engage more people in the discussion.