Defenders of Wildlife

Nature as Healer

When I'm in times of crisis or stressed from daily life, being outdoors in open spaces or admiring wildlife is a great comfort.

Since I was a child, I have yearned to get out of the house, out of the neighborhood and into a wide open space. There's been a magnetic pull that effects me more than ever as an adult.

I left the Midwest for New Mexico & admired the beauty and wildlife of the region, discovering more about how Native Americans revere the spirits of natural elements and Mother Earth. I still think the Native Americans had it right, since they knew we were all related in the natural world.

I had to return to the Midwest when personal tragedy struck and my only child was diagnosed with a rare illness. When I realized she didn't have much time left, I took her outdoors to see the flowers in the park and watch birds fly in the sky.
We went to the zoos for open spaces within the city. My daughter passed away at age 3 and I was sick with grief after holding up in her presence. People had good intentions to help me, but the pain & loss was too deep to discuss & others couldn't imagine unless they experienced it personally.

All I wanted to do was to get outdoors and walk alone....I went to the shores of Lake Michigan in January and screamed to the sky asking why ? A few seagulls swooped down to walk with me...As the cold winds blew I noticed the tall thin trees bending back and forth. I expected branches to break off, but they didn't. I gazed at those trees and wondered how they could stand these bitter winds year after year ? Then, I realized that maybe I too could stand these winds of life...The only way I can survive tragedy is to bend like those trees and be deeply rooted in the earth. At that moment, a lone leaf dropped from the sky right in my path. I felt as if the tree had heard me. It was a transformational time for me and I have felt better ever since that walk in the cold winds.
I wonder what would have happened to me if I had not taken a walk that day ?

Now, I look up more than down because I look up into the trees to see what they hold, maybe a next or a bird ? When birds fly by I say hello. I have bought land outside of Chicago with a Land conservancy easement that will always be preserved. It is my retreat from the city & I hope to live there someday soon. I support sustaining the natural world however I can, since I know that it supports me.


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