When Whitman was 54 years old, he suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed. He spent the next two years immersed in nature, and he believed that nature had helped to heal him. Here's an excerpt from Whitman's Poem called "This Compost:"
"Now I am terrified at the earth! it is that calm and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseased corpses,
It distills such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor,
It renews with such unwitting looks, its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last."