TRUSTING THE NATURE OF OUR GARDENS & SELVES, Camilla Jørvad
Camilla Jørvad is a photographer, a gardener, a mental health and re-wilding-habitat-gardening advocate based on the Danish Island of Ærø. Her home farm, shared with her husband and children, is known as Sigridsminde – meaning 'in memory of Sigrid' – the gardener who first established a garden on this coastal bluff before her father and mother-in-law took on its care, prior to Camilla and her family partnering with the land. Camilla joins us from her home and garden to share more about her journey.
A well known Danish photographer, throughout her life, Camilla has turned to the garden and the natural world as anchor in moments of both physical and psychological distress and break down.
"We need to learn to bend - like the willow - not break."
Camilla Jørvad, Sigridsminde
If you are a follower of hers on social media, you are familiar with Camilla's evocative garden, place, and landscape images that are both beautiful and complex in their layers. In our conversation, Camilla shares how as a teen, she experienced her mother’s loss of mental health and function and subsequently began a lifelong search for a centering place or home in the world.
After marrying and starting a family, Camilla’s career as a photographer took off and there followed a dizzying decade of world travel and global recognition, which while gratifying also took its toll, resulting in her own mental and physical exhaustion and ultimately a long period of depression. Camilla goes on to share more about the restorative role of the land and the garden at Sigridsminde.
She and her family have spent the last decade slowly working to transform pesticide-exhausted monoculture farmland into chemical-free woodland, wild life corridors, flower meadows, hedgerows, and wild garden areas where nature thrives.
To follow along with Camilla's work you can find her on Instagram @sigridsminde/
Join us again next week when we head to the studio of another garden-life creative, the inimitable Frances Palmer, whose pottery you may or may not know and love, but whose new book Life in the Studio, Inspiration and Lessons on Creativity is out this month and will be a spark and a balm to the creative in you. Listen in then!
RELATED EPISODES INCLUDE:
THINKING OUT LOUD this week..
Hey, it’s Jennifer -
In this exact season of life here from my garden in Northern California, what with covid-19, environmental and economic duress, fire season and presidential politics season – with the many socially unjust fault lines of the current American system reaching back – oh 400 years -, and now the loss of the honorable, the notorious, the courageous - the human - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg - I am clinging to the autumnal equinox of earlier this week like a life raft. To its profoundly grounding reminder that CHANGE is the only constant. there is both cliche and comfort in that truth.
I was moved by a post that someone sent me by DM in honor and mourning for #RBG - reminding us that she was not our last hope, we are our last hope. We are powerful agents of change in how we live our lives, how we cultivate the beauty and diversity and regenerative magic of our places, of how we appreciate and care for life around us.
It is from these values we must act. And VOTE - with every action taken, every inch of life and land cared for, every dollar spent or donated to causes and work we believe in, every “vote” cast in all these ways.
If you are a US citizen, don’t squander your rights – have a plan, manifest that plan, and make sure your vote is cast and received on Nov 3rd.
I take deep comfort in the many metaphoric truths that the garden and plants in general have to offer us. The small but might power of seeds, the importance of rooting and intercnnecting with the neighboring lives around us, the truth of all of our inter-dependence and the benefit of diversity in all. The idea of rest and digest in the coming dormancy of fall and winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, and of budding, sprouting and blooming enthusiastically the southern hemisphere is about to celebrate. I recently re-read this poem by May Sarton, whose Journal of Solitude ranks among my favorites – it seemed so fitting in this moment and in this conversation with Camilla, as even in heat and dry here our trees are turning their fall colors and dropping their exuberantly built up foliage biomass to be turned under to feed the masses of insects, microbes, and soil for the future season to continue to be nourished by:
“Keep busy with survival,
Imitate the trees,
Learn to lose in order to recover
And remember nothing stays the same for long.
Not even pain.
Sit it out.
Let it all pass.
Let it go.”
Together we grow – better."
and once you let go the past - Keep growing from there!
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