BIOPHILIA

 A statue of Lakshmi in the gardens at Crystal Castle, Australia.

BIOPHILIA

noun | \ˌbī-ō-ˈfi-lē-ə\

bio = life
 philia = brotherly love or fondness

1. An innate tendency to focus on, and affiliate with, other forms of life.

2. 'The rich, natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms.' - Edward O. Wilson.
 


When I was a child, I would play outside almost every day. In our backyard we had two tall plum trees, with dark brown, slippery boughs that curved upwards. They were no good for climbing, but every summer they produced such a bounty of red fleshed plums that we could hardly eat them all, although I tried very hard. We gave the extra plums to family and friends, and baked them into pies, and even then there were so many piles of sweet smelling rotting plums and little wooden pits on the ground. I vividly remember all this, storing this memory away in the same compartment as the memories of my mother's favourite Iris flowers, the lavender plants, that time I caught a bee in my hands and it stung me, and the tall trees we climbed in at school. There, also, I store the memories of the rose bush thorns, made into rhino horns with a lick of spit, and the tiny green seed balls of the evergreen hedges which my brother and I would pick and throw at one another like pellets. 

Now that I am older, I find myself drawn ever more closely to the outside world. I look forward to those walks and hikes I share with loved ones. If it is my decision, I will choose to meet any friend in a natural place - a park or a wooded area. When I want to be alone, too, I go outside. I also try and bring the outside indoors, as I find myself strangely attracted to potted plants. What is more, I am now working as a gardener, a job I would never have considered taking before. The more I learn of the plants, the more I care about their welfare, and the more I have to thank them for my own state of being. 

Thank you, plants, for nourishing me in every possible way.

 

 Beautiful purple leaves at Crystal Castle gardens.
 A corridor through bamboo shoots - at Crystal Castle.
 A statue of Ganesha at Crystal Castle.
 A beautiful cactus plant.
 A pretty bird perched on a bird of paradise flower.
 Orange tropical palm plant flowers.
 Tiny orange flowers - so precious.

If we look around, we can now see that those houses in the monasteries and in various camps where people have planted fruit trees, now enjoy great benefit as a consequence of their action. First of all, if there is a tree in your courtyard it creates around it an atmosphere of natural beauty and serenity. It is also obvious that you can eat the fruits from the tree, sit under it and enjoy the cool shade. What was required on your part was a little patience to allow some time for the tree to grow up.
— H.H. THE DALAI LAMA - SPEECH DECEMBER 6 1990

 Biophilia - purple and red leaves in the gardens of Crystal Castle.
 Gorgeous gardens at the Crystal Palace in Australia.
 The Peace Stupa and prayer wheels at Crystal Castle.