“Freedom is that instant between when someone tells you to do something and when you decide how to respond.”
– Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein
A lot of people love to pick a fight, argue their point, control everything in sight. There are lots of opportunities to do so, too, within and without the spectrum of autism conditions. But it really takes something to decide that’s not your calling and refuse to join in. However often people want to drag you into their vortex of control and confusion, there remain those who seek a place that’s free of the politics of gender, class and social care funding.
A place where you can escape to, yet feel safe; a place to think things through; relax and begin to find new ways to enjoy the life you have and recognise the empowering forces of the nature we’re a part of.
Nature can provide the sensory stimulation or sensory calming that we need at any given time and we can hone our focus to observe its wonders and soothe our mind through its restorative effects. We can employ its teachings to create our own activities and work with others if we choose, in a way that we choose.
Our meetings are small and friendly so we ask to be informed of who is coming and when, so no one is surprised – it’s just fair. We now have new spaces as well as funding to upgrade existing spaces, so we plan to run more regular sessions at each of our gardens to cater for different preferences.
Always, though, there will be a space just to sit undisturbed but with help on hand for the moments we may need it. Who could reasonably object to that?
The knowledge of having that space, being protected from interference can bring a sense of freedom and the more it is made use of, the more that sense of freedom grows along with self esteem and the ability to cope a little better with the world outside our gardens and learn from each other, too.
We look at the world and its ways and its effect on us. We look at those who go along with its ways and we welcome those who see that a strong community is free of manipulation and domination – it is understanding, supportive and mutually beneficial – very much worth protecting and a joy to know. Find your freedom through nature, wherever you are. When you recognise its wonders you begin to see your own and that provides a sense of inclusion and connection that can often elude us. Breathe it in. Freeedom.