Fast forward to my young adult years. Again there were times my overwhelmed soul experienced not only peace, but hope within the boundless beauty of nature. Water continued to call me to its comforting calm. I would sit at parks with ponds praying, weeping, or thinking. There always seemed to be a level of healing that happened for me. This has continued to prove itself true in my life.
After a major accident five years ago, I was left unable to run. This has been a source of sadness and pain for me as I was an avid runner and had participated in several races over the years. I chose to be grateful I could still walk and kept my focus there. But that desire never faded. I would try to run off and on but within seconds I was in pain and within the length of a street block, unable to continue. I sought healing so many ways; massage, dry needling, trigger point therapy, rest, prayer, and several other modalities. It never came. After years of pursuing answers and getting no where, I found myself less inclined to try.
One recent morning, I went on a small hike at a local park. Our oldest had cross country practice there and I decided to enjoy the nature while she ran. Although the only water around was the very small creeks you walk over, I breathed it all in; the oxygen, the trees, the calm, the life, the abundance. I found myself so full of anticipation that morning, not even really sure what specifically for.
On my journey back through the woods, I had an unusually strong desire to run. I decided it was time to heal and this was the place to do it. I told my body, “I give you permission to heal.” I took off running and as I ran I also said aloud, “I heal you, body, with the God in me, I heal you.” I felt like I was floating as I ran. I felt no pain, no stress on my legs, no effort or exertion. Just peaceful bliss. It was as if the life all around me was supporting the life within me. After several minutes of running I began to feel a little strain and slowed down to a walk. It didn’t matter to me that healing wasn’t complete. It had begun. Something about the power of being outdoors, aligned with nature, surrounded by abundance, had propelled me further along in my healing journey than the last five years of seeing specialists had.
I love this truth about nature. It was created for our benefit and all of our healing. What I receive in nature is available for the next person and the next. It doesn’t provide peace and rest and healing to those ‘most deserving.’ It provides it to those who are open to receive it.
John Burroughs says, “I go to nature to be soothed, healed, and have my senses put in order.” May we always be those people, and may we help show others the healing power of nature as well.
Hope From the Trail
Hope From the Trail features original content related to the healthy pursuit of self, others, and nature. Be sure to stay connected for all things outdoors.