This time of year can be hard. Winter drags on, and weather, at least here in the Pacific Northwest, is chilly, damp and gray. We turn inward and may feel more isolated. Many of my fellow transplants and I miss the winter days we grew up with. The best way I know to endure these gray months is to brave the outdoors and make it a point to visit my favorite wild places. Especially in un-fair weather, their beauty and wisdom is more powerful than ever.
As Spring looms and we are teased with gradually warming and longer days, difficult parts of ourselves that were easier to hold down in the sunnier months may emerge stubbornly, disrupting our relationships and cracking the masks we've put on to conceal our suffering. Often times loved ones can't handle what comes out. "Support" is elusive. At these times, trees are our friends.
At risk of sounding like a dirt worshipping tree hugger, I admit that sometimes the only ones who get me are my tree friends. They don't care if I get all emotional and cry about some stupid stuff. They hug back, harder than I ever could. They've seen it all, heard it all, felt it all, and they know EVERYTHING. They are physical extensions of our vast Earth, embodying all her power, and they can handle me like no person ever could.
Likewise, rivers, oceans and lakes can completely hold and cleanse us. How incredibly rejuvinating does a swim in a natural body of water feel? As Earth and Water can fully support us at any point of our relatively short human existence, so can the forest. Find your trees and let them take care of you. In return, thank them and take care of them. They are lifelines to the Life Force.
Rather than "toughing it out," this Winter I'm working on softening and releasing my negativity. I know the Forest can handle it and won't be damaged by me or take my "stuff" personally. Toughing it out really means relaxing enough to release the difficult stuff so I can go forward and do my thing. The Forest is here to help.
And by "stuff" I mean emotions. Not trash! Ya'll know to clean up your trash when you're out in the world. Obviously.
What are your favorite trees and Wild places? You know where to start. Go back to visit. I bet they miss you and want to pick up where you left off.