From Forest Therapy Ottawa Newsletter, August 2022
Some people might say I have no place to call home. Or soon I won’t. Tomorrow I hope to finalize the sale of the place that’s been home for our family for 24 years. It’s the next step in the separation from my husband.
July was the big push to get the house ready to sell. Sifting through 24 years of stuff and memories, of raising our two boys there. The joys and heartaches. Letting go can be gut-wrenching, so I ended many days physically and emotionally drained.
I do have a place to live. It’s on a quiet lake. I have kind housemates. It’s a “for now” home, as I work out what’s next for me.
One evening, after a full week of painting and prepping to list the house, I made my way to the house on the lake. With the first step out of the car, the scent of balsam and pine filled my breath. Each inhale and exhale loosened the knots in my muscles and lifted my spirits. I know I have a home not only among these trees but wherever I am among trees, and I pause to breathe, to notice and receive their healing gifts.
I’m writing this while sitting at a weathered picnic table looking out at the lake. Listening…
Feeling a sense of home in the chorus of birds around me, the rustle and scurry of squirrels, the whirr and flit of dragonflies.
Earlier, I stood in the shallow water and did a ritual I’ve practiced for many years, to honour the four directions and ground myself in the teachings of Earth and Cosmos. Home also lives within that familiar ritual, and in the place my bare feet touch the ground as I circle to greet the East, South, West, North. In the feel of summer water on my skin and the ripples that radiate outwards with each step in the lake and with each gesture of gratitude.
And so I feel incredibly blessed by this “for now” home on this lake, and by the home without walls or a roof: home made of soil, rock, water and sky; home that comes alive with the sounds and sensations of each moment; home in the echoes of those who’ve come before and in the voices of all beings, and in the cycles of living and letting go.
And that home is with me always.
I’m so glad you’re here too.
Andrea Prazmowski is the human being connected with Forest Therapy Ottawa, doing her best to listen to the voices of the forest and shoreline, sky and earth, who guide her guiding and her writing.