Beauty to the Beholder

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Amphrite and Manscape: Ceramic Artist Exhibit by Kathy Ruttenberg. Photo by Judith Knight. March 2015

What feeds your soul? What do you look upon that inspires and uplifts you? These are deep questions that I believe are important not only to our physical well being, but also to our mental health. You see in beholding, we become changed.

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to go to one of my favorite places in Rhode Island.   The Botanical Center at Roger Williams Park in Providence.  It is the largest indoor public garden in New England.

I went with my family and a friend to the Botanica Ceramica: Large Scale Sculpture Under Glass featuring nine ceramic artists amidst the beautifully landscaped indoor greenhouses.  The  Ceramic Art exhibit is showing from March 12 through March 29.  Picture this:  Coming in from frigid 30 degree weather and walking into a warm, mildly humid temperature of 75 to 80 degrees.  A tropical paradise with numerous palms, tiki plants, various hostas, hydrangeas, and other ground cover strategically placed amidst the elements of natural light, water and sound.  The exhibits are tastefully placed amongst this verdure landscape.  Oh, talk about nature’s beauty meeting creativity.  It was truly heavenly.  It really spoke to my soul.

There is a spiritual element that speaks to the senses when beholding beauty amidst creativity.  A 2005 study with 211 respondents, (average age of 40) used a questionnaire to probe the link between perceived health and visiting favorite natural places.  “The change toward positive feelings was associated in particular with natural favourite places and relaxing in them. ”  The lushness of the tropical plants amidst the art displayed by various artists speaks to the mind and heart of the beholder.  Feeding our souls is just as important as feeding our stomachs when it comes to boosting our health.  Mental therapy for improving well-being can be found in naturally abundant settings.

I have been to the Botanical Center many times before: to read, pray, to do yoga, learn about herbs, and the Holiday in the Park event in December.  I would find any excuse to go, because I really loved the way I felt after I left this place.  I felt rejuvenated, inspired, uplifted and ready to face the world.  It really feeds my soul.

Now that I am a Botanical Center Conservancy member , I will be going more frequently by myself and with others to enjoy this beautiful place. You see the soul needs to be fed consistently and I plan to do just that!

Please share a place that feeds your soul and why.  Let’s start a conversation on feeding our souls with beautiful places!

2 thoughts on “Beauty to the Beholder”

  1. I’ve been to that botanical garden a few times with you and it always amazes me how warm, welcoming and comforting the garden makes me feel.

  2. I lived in RI most of my life and feel sad to say I’ve never been to the botanical gardens but really wish I would have! The place that feeds my soul is Acadia National Park. It’s raw untouched beauty takes my breath away! It lets me see how great is our God!

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