Taking delight in our local landscape brings us happiness. Sometimes we think we need the exotic holiday to be happy but I know that within walking distance from my home there are walks of such beauty that can take your breath away. A little bit of water, a creek or a river, some natural vegetation and a pathway through can sometimes be enough to lift the spirits of a despondent person. Nauseatingly-Nice Fanny Price in Mansfield Park appreciates the landscape; she notices “the bearings of the roads, the difference of the soil, the state of the harvest, the cottagers, the cattle”. This is contrasted with Mercenary-Mary who saw “nature inanimate nature, with little observation her attention was all for men and women”.
Nauseatingly-Nice Fanny Price appreciates the natural: She is looking out the window one starlit night and says, “Here’s harmony, Here’s repose!” Edmond replies, “they are much to be pitied who have not been taught to feel in some degree as you do – who have not at least been given a taste for nature in early life”. I am so fortunate I live in Melbourne. Despite being a big city, we have some of the most beautiful gardens in the world and there are a body of home gardeners that bring the world of nature into their homes. Equally exciting is schools setting up kitchen gardens to teach children the pleasures of gardening and cooking.
Appreciating the seasons is one of the joys of life that has been with humans since time immemorial. Today the weather has distinctly changed, the sun has peeped out and supplied just a touch of the last of Autumn’s warmth. As I walk my children to school I can feel the happiness of the sun on my skin. Winter is just around the corner but there may still be some delicious days. Upon arriving back in Mansfield Park, Fanny feels sad that she had missed the coming of Spring in Mansfield. She had been by the sea in Portsmouth. She had taken the pleasures of spring previously for granted. “She had not known before, how much the beginnings and progress of vegetation had delighted her. What animation of both body and mind, she had derived from watching the advance of that season which cannot, in spite of its capriciousness, be unlovely, and seeing its increasing beauties, from the earliest flowers, in the warmest divisions of her aunt’s garden, to the opening of leaves of her uncles plantations and the glory of his woods.” Delight in nature and the changing of the seasons seems such a basic ingredient to happiness.
Has anyone got some photos of their local landscape?