Cotton Magazine issue #3 is dedicated to the alchemy of plants. Plant Power. Plant Memories. Healing Herbalism. Exploring growth as a natural condition and a state-of-mind in ourselves, we dive into the greenery and connect to the power of nature as a catalyst for personal transformation. Just like a plant, every human being is a living organism with the potential to be cultivated into a state of full bloom. We all have unique life stems, that over time develop into individualized curriculums and blooms belonging just to us. This issue is an inspiration to learn from the plants and use our innate power to set root, grow and manifest. To thrive with strong individual stems in gardens, that nourish our highest potential.
The ‘garden’ as a concept has always had a connotation of paradise on earth, and its iconic stories are deeply woven into our psyche: With Adam & Eve in the Bible, the garden of Eden marks the beginning of the world as we know as the untouched kingdom of God and man’s innocence. During the years of the Enlightenment, cultural classics like Voltaire’s ‘Candide’ portrayed the garden as a romantic respite from the inequality of society, a wonderland where a natural state-of-being could enlighten man's mind and free him from his chains. In modern times, gardening has been linked to personal and political leadership. In ‘Mandela’s Way’ – Fifteen lessons on Life, Love and Courage - author Richard Stengel describes how Mandela’s vegetable garden in his prison years, became a place of personal freedom. The Garden for Mandela was all about creating a place apart, something, away from the world, that gave him pleasure and satisfaction. Gardening was the art of ‘relaxing and concentrating on a pleasant task, that engages the mind, but does not tax it too much’. ‘Find your Garden’ is not only Mandela’s life advice, but also an iconic political symbol, that is still in use today. At the White House in America, Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden, was created in the very beginning of the Obama administration, as a message to modern America to focus of a healthy lifestyle for the future generation.
Greenery and botanical culture is still relevant in modern times, and during the past ten years, it has entered urban lifestyle like never before in the shape of roof farms, winter gardens, flower markets and plant festivals. And the feeling goes beyond wanting to reconnect to nature through the many eco trends and terms of the current time. The plants give us power. Just by watching them grow, we can start to feel more strong and resilient. They remind us of a different tempo and nature’s innate development miracle, where a seed in it’s right conditions and nourishment over time can develop from a mere state of possibility into a state of natural perfection, that gives back to mother nature. And they supply us with an endless treasure of healing properties, that resonates deeply with our human sensibility and origins.
In this issue, we are looking at plants as the catalysts for growth, and personal transformation. The importance of cultivation in a fast-moving, complex world. But unlike Candide, like modern citizens, we should not be removing ourselves from the world -or each other- in order to do it. “Tending one’s own garden”, today is not just about creating place of retreat, but more about cultivating a place of renewal. A place where man thrives and transforms into his biggest potential. With roots that go down into the earth, and branches that spread towards the stars. Blossoms, that flower into the sky, and a nourishment that comes from deep within. Modern man as a plant, that is always balanced: The higher the plant goes, the deeper the roots set.
Welcome to a time zone of vertical growth where life is a balance between the depth and the height, where people grow, just like greenery grows. A greenscape of people that lead their own way, plant new seeds and insist on a lifestyle of personal balance: Entrepreneurs, that incorporate ancient plant wisdom in new ways, lifestyle products with natural healing ingredients that relieve us from consumer fatigue, and personal stories of the garden as a place, where personal transformation happen vertically as an antidote to the fast- paced vertical speed of society.
Let’s honour the power of personal alchemy in the shape of horizontal growth. Let’s honour our own personal leadership and become each other’s visionaries. Let’s cultivate personal revolutions and green paradises that grow into the change, we want to see in the world - a modern garden that would make mother nature proud.
Sidsel Solmer Eriksen, Founding Editor