Happy Earth Day!

Cacooned inside the earth. The essence of Biophilic design. Aahh. Thank you – Planet Earth – for holding us, protecting us, nurturing us, sustaining us. Thank you for teaching us, through your trillions of natural processes, the way to not just live and survive, but to thrive. Happy Earth Day!

 

Looking at this house enveloped and surrounded by the earth reminds me, tangentially, of my very favorite childhood past time. I LOVED exploring my natural environment – digging for worms, looking for caterpillars and searching for crawdads in the ditches that bordered my Texas neighborhood. People who know me today, may be surprised by this? Haha. But that time I spent with my hands in the earth and collecting the dozens and dozens of caterpillars that roamed my neighborhood (and then, eventually, the inside of my house) was life sustaining and so utterly fulfilling. It was satisfying and joyful, unlike anything else at the time. I remember feeling such a single minded delight in it; I also felt something that I could not understand or put into words then. It felt like home – nurturing and supportive. The mere memory of those times spent playing in the earth has served to carry me through my decades of adulthood. How powerful is that!!  I revisit those memories and, mostly, the feeling those memories give me, quite often now. They remind me of how lucky I am to live on this immensely beautiful planet, a home that gives us so much on a daily basis, most of which I have taken for granted in such grotesque ways for the majority of my life.

Those memories remind me of the healing capacity that the earth has. But I lost touch with this, as often happens, as an adult raising three children and the craziness that brings. I became so disconnected from this planet we live on that I got caught up in the conveniently disposable world we have made for ourselves. But that detachment from our planet, I realized, also translated into a disconnect with others and then and finally a disconnect from myself. 

My now grown daughters, as is frequently the case, inspire me to regain my connection to our planet, to take care of it, to build a more sustainable world for our future and for that of our grandchildren. They have reminded me of all that I have pushed aside. They have changed the way I think about recycling, my water usage, and, professionally, the way my industry deals with waste and the use of sustainable building materials or lack there of. My children have reminded me of how our planet needs us to change our patterns of living, to change the way we view our role in serving the earth and to open our eyes to the impact that I, even as one individual, am having on the environment. It used to be so easy to look away, but as is the case in so many areas in life today –  from social and cultural issues to environmental ones, we absolutely, I absolutely, can not look away any more. 

In our work as interior, construction and product designers, Dayhouse is delving into the science that is proving the powerful healing impact our natural world has on our individual health and wellbeing. I personally am working to bring that same nurturing, calming influence the outdoors had over me as a child into my clients’ home and work environments. We are keenly interested in harnessing nature’s influence over our mental and physical healing and wellbeing, through designing environments that contain materials and products containing varying elements from our natural world.

It turns out caring for our planet is to our benefit in a myriad of life sustaining ways! It is very exciting to think about how impacting our environment in powerful and positive ways, also deepens our engagement to our natural world, thereby increasing our own mental and physical well-being! This symbiotic relationship is our primary focus at Dayhouse. We are thrilled to be designing homes and products that will help sustain our planet as well as increase our health and well-being!

Here is to our magnificent planet and caring for it today and everyday! May we find ways to give more to the earth than we are taking from it!! Happy Earth Day 2021!

 

Dorothy Day

6 Responses to Happy Earth Day!

  1. Nancy Huntsman

    Thank you for this beautiful essay, lyrical and true. It’s a good prompt for us all to heighten our awareness and strengthen our commitment to our Mother Earth. I am excited to see your new work and designs. (You’re right: the worms story did surprise me!)

  2. Beautifully expressed! I remember what an adventure we had exploring the cliffs along River Road, which ran along the Delaware River near Lambertville, New Jersey, when we stayed with my mother that special summer many years ago! What fun and a great memory! Ah, to take the luxury of time to do that again!

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