Today is ‘Throwback Thursday’ on Facebook. Friends post photos from the past, and we all wax nostalgic. So why not some nostalgic photos of my garden during a simpler time?
It surprised me to learn that ‘experts’ once considered nostalgia a mental disorder or illness. According to this New York Times article, What is Nostalgia Good For?:
In the 19th and 20th centuries nostalgia was variously classified as an “immigrant psychosis,” a form of “melancholia” and a “mentally repressive compulsive disorder” among other pathologies. But when Dr. Sedikides, Tim Wildschut and other psychologists at Southampton began studying nostalgia, they found it to be common around the world, including in children as young as 7 (who look back fondly on birthdays and vacations).
“The defining features of nostalgia in England are also the defining features in Africa and South America,” Dr. Wildschut says. The topics are universal — reminiscences about friends and family members, holidays, weddings, songs, sunsets, lakes The stories tend to feature the self as the protagonist surrounded by close friends.
Most people report experiencing nostalgia at least once a week, and nearly half experience it three or four times a week. These reported bouts are often touched off by negative events and feelings of loneliness, but people say the “nostalgizing” — researchers distinguish it from reminiscing — helps them feel better.
Wow! Just reading that article made me feel better!
I lived in Campbell, California for five years before getting married. My tiny apartment, behind a larger house, boasted a long concrete driveway, a smaller, concrete parking strip and a concrete stoop leading into my 400 square foot apartment. I was happy to find this tiny place to call my own, and a landlord that allowed cats! I didn’t rent if for the greenery. Landscaping the place was always on the owner’s mind, but sadly, there it stayed. I surrounded myself with houseplants of course, but it seemed a shame to leave all that concrete unadorned. One by one, plant by plant, I created my own little potted garden. As a renter, you never know how long the deal will last, so I started small, assuming I could always take my potted plants with me. Eventually, I dug into the soil around the perimeter and before I knew it I had a tangle of vines, herbs, flowers and succulents. I bought a tiny settee, relocated the cat climbing tree, and eventually had my own little garden oasis.
Of course the thing about nostalgia is that we tend to remember the good times and leave the rest. When I look at these photos, I remember the happy little garden, but I also remember the colorful neighbor up above. She worked as a stripper at a local bar, arriving home at 2:00 am most days, blaring her TV and screaming expletives at her boyfriend. Good times!
Do you like waxing nostalgic?