We have returned from our lovely, lazy vacation at the beach. I read three and a half books, floated lazily in an inner tube in the lake, went for long walks, picked wild raspberries, laughed a lot, watched lots of movies, ate food my husband barbecued, and enjoyed my family.

Yesterday was a bit of a strange day though. We got up early, rushed to pack up our things & clean the cabin we’d rented from a friend, and made it back into the city for two big things. Marcel had a job interview to attend, and I wanted to be at the hospital when my mom came out of the operating room where the surgeons were attempting to remove the cancer that has attached itself to the outside of her intestines.

It felt like an odd way to return from vacation. As many of you know, there have been a few stressors on my mind lately, including my mom’s cancer and our family finances (including the fact that my husband has been under-employed in recent years). To be reminded of both of these big things the moment one returns feels jarring. At the same time, though, there is some hopefulness in both.

The surgeon is hopeful about the cancer, and Marcel is hopeful about the job. There are still lots of uncertainties, and the knot in my stomach hasn’t gone away, but I’m trying to be hopeful.

Yesterday, as I was sitting in my mom’s hospital room (which is, incidentally, just down the hall from where my son Matthew died eleven years ago), I reflected on something I’d heard recently about healing.

Studies have shown that those people who have a view of a tree during their recovery heal faster than those who don’t.

As I move through the stressors in my life, I am grateful that, from time to time, I have the opportunity to step into nature and stare at a tree. We couldn’t afford much of a vacation this summer, but at least we got to spend a few days wandering through the bush and appreciating the trees, and sitting at the beach and marvelling at the beauty of the water splashing on the shore.

These things give me strength to stand tall when life feels overwhelming.

What about you? Are you finding ways of letting nature heal you?

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