Sheelagh Cabalda is a partner, mama and educator, who has worked extensively in youth development, cultural studies, multicultural counseling, cancer support, higher education, events administration and non-profit management. Redefining success is a combination of positive & changing self-concept, inner directedness and a balance of priorities. It is personal empowerment -- taking charge over what we can control & accepting what we cannot. Every day is an attempt to do just that.
During my lakeside hikes, I'd noticed these low to the ground umbrella-like herbs that have been flourishing in the woods. I've imagined the tiniest of creatures darting in and out of these shade plants. Once again these petite parasols caught my attention this morning as the rain settled on their canopies. When I researched these mayapple plants, I learned that they are supposed to bloom with white flowers, and among Native American communities, their medicinal uses include treating stomachaches and warts.
pullulating groundswell i see you, mayapples miniature forest colonies of verdant umbrellas sending me a mystical message moment by moment movement by movement waiting for your ivory efflorescence to emerge
I value my daily forest baths along the lake -- abundantly. They save me from daily life's anxieties. The less people on the path, the better. Every morning, I bump into an Asian man who sits on a bench massaging his earlobes and tapping his stress away. He simply perches himself on a bench lakeside, his own personal shinrin-yoku nook. As I continue on the path, I consciously take deep breaths . . . in . . . and . . . out. I hike at a reasonable pace as I make my way around the lake. Every so often, I run into patches of fallen pine, and the smell of trees' oil soothes my soul as I gratefully wake up to another day of improving myself and trying to make the world a better place.
That's all we can do . . . keep trying. As I take notice of how the lake shimmers in the sun or get a glimpse of a bluejay flitting through the branches, for a while I can forget the ugliness in the world and pray that as I heal a little in nature's energy, the world heals a little too. My abundant value of shinrin-yoku supports my hope to contribute eagerly to my community, to keep going. May you explore your own nature therapy and carve out a time and space for yourself to realize your abundant value in the world.