2018 - March - CDT - Helping Hands - Healing with Nature
Healing with Nature
Losses come in all shapes and sizes as does the healing that follows from them. One result of a loss is often a future you hadn’t expected. A few years ago, I was grieving the loss of an opportunity and a future I was anticipating. As often happens when I am in need of healing, I felt the woods calling so I went for a hike. About 30 minutes into my hike, a caterpillar climbing a tree caught my attention. I stood for a while gazing at its slow and steady pace. Then I noticed a big knot blocking the caterpillar’s path and wondered what would happen next. This soon-to-be-butterfly simply stopped, turned to the right, crawled around the knot and continued upward. As I walked on, I realized that I too had reached a “knot” in my life and could choose to stop, grieve as I needed and then turn a different direction – other paths were still available for me to move forward. With cellphone technology at my fingertips, I turned around to take a picture of the caterpillar, and it was nowhere to be found. Although disappointed I didn’t get a photographic reminder of my furry muse, I had already received the encouragement and healing within.
On that hike, I found something in nature that mirrored my life and it helped me heal. Nature has long been a source of healing, from its raw materials to its soothing images and sounds to its infinite lessons.
When a drunk driver killed Paula D’Arcy’s husband and two-year-old daughter, her grief journey drew her to the ocean. In the Koch Funeral Home sponsored documentary, Voices of Grief: Honoring the Sacred Journey, Paula, a writer, retreat leader and speaker, describes where she found healing. “…it began with nature, I went right back to the thing that was the oldest comfort for me, which was the ocean. And I would lie down so I was close enough to the water so that when the tide came in it would wash over me. “
If you would like to discuss and learn more about how nature can help you heal from loss, you’re invited to attend our next Monday’s Moments Complimentary Luncheon, “Healing? Engage with Nature!” on Monday, April 2. You are also invited to our May 7 luncheon, “Nurturing, Where Do You Begin?” These luncheons are held from Noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott, 1730 University Drive, State College.
To RSVP for the Monday’s Moments Complimentary Luncheons and/or schedule a time to view the documentary, please call 814-237-2712, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Facebook page. In addition, please visit our website, to give us input about a possible retreat.
Jackie Hook, MA, is a spiritual director and celebrant. She coordinates the Helping Grieving Hearts Heal program through Koch Funeral Home in State College. For more information, please call 814-237-2712 or visit www.kochfuneralhome.com.