“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more”- John Burroughs
I have to believe it was fate or perhaps destiny that we would settle down here. My childhood home reclaimed 17 years after my parents sold it. (see video here) The storyline never gets old because each new day nostalgia finds me and provides a calming effect on my soul. I was born and raised on these acres of wildlife, lakes and serenity in an 800 square foot cabin, it was perfect… my time here as a child was before the shadows found me….the shadows that before I knew it had me chasing the light and heading back home.
While this little slice of paradise has situated us off the beaten path a bit, it’s just the right distance away from it all to disconnect. All of my babes are finding a divine love for nature here as endless opportunities to chase light, skip rocks and catch salamanders fills hours. I believe God meets us in Nature, beneath the rocks, on the tailspin of a fallen leaf and the shimmer across the lake at sunrise. He meets us right there and builds church walls out of tall tamarack trees and a roof of a million stars, the choir chirps a familiar tune of summer, the song of acceptance. The turtles pop their head out of the still lake, always listening without judgement and the tall grass being pushed side to side by scampering feet always welcomes you home ….time after time.
One thing I have learned is that the shadows can never kill light. They are temporary, shifting and disappearing as quickly as they come. No matter the pretty picture I splash out there from time to time….the shadows are ever present in our life… the struggle on the outside is relentless. They come in all forms from ourselves, people, the systems or lack thereof and ignorance… We get glimpses of Grace out there, safety nets and hope… but for the most part we retreat to the Light to replenish and restore.
I need this place, where I can lay down my own agenda and Let God shine his light into our life. The ultimate Author of our story must have known, that my soul grows weary underneath my strong demeanor and confident outside layer, and that this place would begin to fill in the broken pieces. It’s a warm hug on a bad day. An inviting hello, revisiting a childhood long passed.
Oh seeing him here.
I see him thriving here. It’s a toss up for us, we trade conveniences of closer schools for days upon days in a sensory wonderland. It has to add up to something at the end of the day. He started a school this past week that has him on the bust a total of 3 hours a day … 1.5 there and 1.5 home… that long bus rides to and from school brings him back to this. He RUNS FREE, splashes in the water, digs in the dirt… feeds the ducks and paddles a boat all with no judgement.
Nature therapy should just be a thing, right next to PT, OT and Speech… immerse them all.
I’ve said it time and time again, our battle is not with a diagnosis it always seems to be with those who don’t take the time to think outside themselves and dig a little deeper. The shadows.
Our home here in Cahoonzie, knows no diagnosis… the forest doesn’t discriminate as the leaves relentlessly waive hello back to his many waves to them … the fish stare back at his moments of gazing without judgement… his occasional grunting since he still hasn’t found his unprompted voice is echoed back to him across the lake only to shift his frustration to laughter at the returning sound…..and he chases the shadows, oh yes he will chase those shifting shadows until the break of day with his light.
Grateful for this place. More than I can ever say.