The trees have a story and so do I
I listen to their secrets
and they listen to mine
More wood nymph than mermaid
this East Coast girl
who spends her time in the corporate world
I head out into nature with my coziest sweatshirt and healing crystals in my bra. As I walk the familiar paths at the Fairfield Audubon Society, deeper into the woods, I expect all stress to wash away. I hope to breathe deeply and feel my shoulders relax. Instead, I feel the anxiety fully, the tightness in my solar plexus. Because finally, I allow myself to feel, all of it. Sadness also came with me, I don’t know why. Something old, perhaps, that I pushed away. Safe there, with the trees. They will keep my secrets.
I have always felt safer under cover of forest than in the vast open spaces. As a child, I loved playing in the woods behind our house, splashing in the streams. Perhaps I was a wood nymph in another life, a dryad or, maybe a fairy. In the stress and fast pace of the adult world, I too often forget the healing power of the trees, the peace I can find there.
So I walked, choosing the longer path, leading away from the people, searching for solace. I let go of the chatter in my mind, a walking meditation. I appreciate the beauty of the nature around me. Some destruction and some new growth. I came to a place where boards form the path across a stream and some uncertain ground – we’re in the wetlands here – and I wonder how steady it is. I check in with my healing knee and I see the fear, the fear of falling. And I wonder why I have always had this fear, when I know my guardian angels work over time. I do the stupidest things and have never broken a bone or seriously hurt myself, even though I probably should have.
Today, this is what anxiety looks like. I consider turning back, but I keep going. My knee is strong. So are the boards. I can trust life again.
I’m here in the woods because the energy healer told me to be here. The electronics and noise of my every day world adds to the anxiety. I’m here because I’ve gotten so used to being anxious it feels normal to me, but it’s keeping me stuck. I’m here in the woods because, after a session with an energy healer, I finally feel relief, some peace and quiet from the mean girl anxiety voices in my head 24/7 telling me I’m not good enough. The voices are gone and I’m ready to move forward. I’m here in the woods because the healing has just begun and there is energy to move.
I’m walking this path in the woods because there’s this magical, bright, sparkly light who is ready to come out. She’s been listening to the voices that tell her she’s not good enough and now she’s telling them to shut the fuck up. I’m here, talking about anxiety, even though it scares the shit out of me, because we’ve been quiet and scared and alone long enough.
I’m here, telling my story, because we’re all on this journey together. The world needs our light. I walk the path before you, and I walk the path beside you.
The trees have a story and so do I.