When people ask me where I’m from I have a difficult time answering. Eventually, I say Canada. Born in Vancouver, brought up in Banff and PEI, schooled in London, Ontario, and Quebec City (La Ville de Quebec) (et, oui.. je parle le Francais!), lived in Frederiction, Ottawa, Montreal. Worked in Banff, Vancouver, and theatrically toured all the Western provinces.
Two weekends ago I was having a rough day. I was not in the “flow”. Our usual Sunday together was disturbed and I found myself alone and needing some nurturing.
I turned to nature.
I got in my car and drove to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver(only 10 minutes away). I got myself into the woods and went for a hike.
I passed others hiking in small groups, family outings, but eventually found myself solo surrounded by gigantic mothering trees. My brain slowed down, and the wooded energy started to envelop me. One tree seem to beckon me closer so I could admire the strength in its thick beautiful bark. The tree transformed into a being, reaching out for my arms.
“Oh great. I’m going to hug a tree.” I glanced around, and promptly scolded myself for worrying what others might think. “Who freakin’ cares!” I surrendered to the tree, wrapped my arms as far as I could. I admit, the contact felt strong and reassuring.
I continued on, slightly slower, my gaze absorbing more.
That’s when I saw the fallen tree. Then another one, And, another one. Nothing dramatic, just down. These trees were parts, dead parts, fallen from some reason – wind, disease, or even a strategic chopping to keep the path cleared.
But, you would not realize they were dead. There was too much life happening in and around them. New life had enveloped them, bringing a lower level beauty to the forest that couldn’t have occurred otherwise.
Nurse logs. Yes, they are officially known as “nurse logs“. Fallen spirits, no longer existing with their own food sources, they become rich grounds for the young. For a long time.
I stared at log after log of this incredible nurturing. The metaphor provided solace. Even the dead provide a fertile, happy place for fresh new green life.
I entered the woods with a busy, confused brain.
The forest nursed me with calm observations.
I left, altered, thinking of the nurturing grounds of those close who have passed on. Kind of comforting, don’t you think?