A couple of nights ago I took my two children on a hike in the woods. It was a welcome reprieve from being "quarantined" inside our home, and an opportunity to get out, get some exercise, and breathe the fresh air. All of this was a benefit to us after being home together for a month now. But out of this experience came an unexpected one. As we were hiking we found little hand painted rocks throughout the woods.
The rocks were similar to those that the therapists and staff at Saratoga Center for the Family had painted for therapist and friend Jacquie Gemme when we dedicated a garden to her after she passed away last year.
These rocks were little beacons of color and hope, hiding in the woods, adding more joy to our nature experience.
I was grateful to the people who decided to place these pieces of art throughout the woods. I felt connection with this nameless, faceless rock painter. My kids loved it. And I loved being together in our “forest bath.”
Right now, when you look through the forest there is a green haze as the little buds get ready to blossom. Despite all of the things going on and all the darkness, there is mother nature, moving forward, healing, growing, sheltering. When you can be in the moment, in the woods, I think that’s what it’s all about.
There was that Mr. Roger’s quote circulating around about looking for the helpers: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother woud say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." I love that quote and the idea that when everything seems bad, look at what is really there and you’ll always see good shining through.
When it’s dark we notice and appreciate the light so much more, even though it’s really always there.
-Megan Heeder-Megan, LMHC
Clinical Director of School Based Programming