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Hope Springs Eternal

April 08, 2013

Hope Springs Eternal

“Hope springs eternal” on the campuses at Skyland Trail, especially in springtime when the return of unfolding new growth and budding flowers bravely announce that the process of regeneration and recovery is possible. It is happening here. Clients at Skyland Trail immerse in the season of hope and recovery simply by walking through the gardens on the main campus between groups and at the residential campuses when they return home to the therapeutic gardens there.

Each campus is chock full of hope of what is to come, grounded in a winter, overcome.  At the main campus, Log Fern fiddle heads uncoil at the ground and above, purple blooms cling to the branches of the Redbud tree before the heart shaped leaves appear. Hyacinths and Edgeworthia mingle sweetness in the air.  Plump leaves emerge at each node of the Lacecap Hydrangea in the Legacy Gardens of Residential South, while the white starry blossoms of native Bloodroot timidly light the forest floor of Skyland Trail North

In springtime, nature itself is therapeutic (mind the allergens), enhanced by the palette of plants selected to reach out to the senses, engaging mindfulness and welcoming connection.  In springtime, nature gives Skyland Trail’s horticultural therapy a jump start, fulfilling the goals of the program through the positive metaphors of recovery that can be harvested physically and metaphorically, and then stuffed into one’s own “recovery tool box.”

“Nature is your best friend and a genuine mirror,” I tell the clients as they look to nature in awe.  The reflection is a positive one, full of hope.  Especially in the spring.

Libba Shortridge, MLA, HTR, is the horticultural therapist at Skyland Trail. Horticultural therapy is part of our adjunctive therapy program, which also includes art, music, recreation, and social enrichment. Led by caring professionals who are experts in their fields, adjunctive group sessions help clients find new ways to express their thoughts and emotions, learn new skills, build confidence, and interact with their peers and the community. Learn more >