About a month ago, I had the privilege of walking through the Generose Building at Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, Minnesota. This is where they take care of patients with mood disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, as well as other minor to severe mental incapacities.
I was supposed to go to the third floor and visit a patient in the mood disorders wing, but took a wrong turn and walked into the ward for schizophrenic patients. I passed some windows to my left. Stopping for a moment, I looked through the panes of glass and gazed out over a large atrium space that spanned the entire three floors of the building. The roof was made entirely of an opaque glass that allowed a sort of filtered sunlight to make a valiant attempt at brightening the dirty green carpeting on the ground floor. Tables were scattered about the space, half-finished puzzles on every one of them. There wasn’t a fleck of dust throughout the entire space, and every chair was positioned perfectly. Nothing was out of place. Nothing was haphazard.
I would have been out of my mind with the artificiality of it all. The “almost sunlight” would have bothered me worse than a room with no windows. I turned to my companion, “If I was a patient here, I would break out of the joint and make my way to a beach, sitting there for days, listening to the water lap against the sand, watching the rest of humanity do their thing. That would be more healing for me.”
Humans need fresh air. They need a good dose of nature, every once in a while, to keep their sanity, no matter the measuring stick for normalcy. In the United States, since the inception of the National Parks by our bombastic and single-glassed President, Theodore Roosevelt, we began to care about preserving the natural wonders of this country.
Only, Donald Trump wants to destroy the beauty of one of the longest natural borders in the world with his Soviet wall. The Rio Grande is dry in places, muddy in others, and yet, in some areas, it is one of the most idyllic settings for sitting on the shore, feet in the water, listening to cattle lowing on a distant ranch.
Perfect for a man or woman, child or old person, dog or cat, and even the oft-ridiculed scorpion, to lap up the beauties of this world, refreshing their mind for another spell at life.