Saturday, September 14, 2013

Healing Memories in the Forest

A forest trail at Burfoot Park, Olympia, WA
A place of beauty, A place to heal
September 2013: I wrote this several months ago--then felt too vulnerable to print it.

April 2013:  It has been a long day. My head throbs. My stomach is in knots. Ancient sorrows and terrors have begun to surface. I need some green growing...I need some nature.

I am in Olympia training to work with people caught in domestic violence. What ever possessed me? Just because I've had experiences, like being in what I thought was a common law marriage with someone who insisted on growing marijuana illegally. Like getting busted for said marijuana and nearly losing my children. Like being on and off of welfare until I finally learned to make a decent living for my family-- and now own my home free and clear.

I thought I might have something to offer women who are struggling as single moms through some of the same issues. So I volunteered where my skills might be useful, and found that the greatest need is working with people caught in domestic violence situations.
Trillium growing in the forest

I didn't know the training would bring up those long buried memories. I didn't know how these memories would affect me physically and emotionally. I did not at first know why I am exhausted and my head hurts. I knew only that I need wild, I need green growing things, I need trees.

I drive away from the city, past the house I once lived in, a house that carries some of those memories, past the school where my children went, to the park I remember. Walking down the trail through the woods to the beach, some of my tension eases. The beauty of the woods engulfs me. I touch again that deep joy that lives within me.

Can the beauty of these woods help to heal other people? Might I share this beauty some how, through my paintings, with people who need green as I do? Who need healing experiences?