Autumn Thoughts

When the studies become oppressive and I feel smothered by deadlines and all things academic, the best mental health therapy I know is to grab a camera and head for the woods. I’ve spent a lot of time in the woods lately. In fact, I recently discovered  what is officially known as “nature therapy,” based on the premise that human angst, depression, disconnectedness and stress can in part be attributed to the fact that in our technological world, we have become too alienated from nature. The cure (or at least some relief) is found by spending more time outdoors reconnecting with the natural world. That is certainly true for me. So much so that once I am a licensed clinical counselor (a few years hence) I plan to seek certification as an art therapist, and now, a nature therapist, too. I can think of no better approach to becoming centered and finding one’s authentic being. But one does not have to travel afar to benefit from immersing in the natural world. When not out in the woods, you will often find me on our back deck or in the yard piddling around. This is soul-refreshing work for me. I have great plans for our yard, plans that will make our yard a small wildlife habitat. It will take time, but with patience and perseverance we will have a nature retreat outside our back door. But it is Autumn and for now everything is put to rest for the season. No more digging and planting until the spring. As you can see, a few days ago the trees that line the back of our property were in full color which made the following bird shots more beautiful than ever. Even that old pie plate bird feeder doesn’t look quite as tacky as usual. 😉

 

Now however, the trees in the background have lost most of their leaves. Gray barrenness dominates the countryside. It’s hard to believe that these photos were taken just a day or two ago. Dreary rains have set in and the time has come to settle in to our cozy home knowing that winter is not too far off. School work continues. I will begin my fieldwork (counseling) in the spring, and if all goes according to plan (does it ever?) I will graduate in December, 2013. The work is tiring and I’ve reached the stage where I sometimes consider quitting this process. I am tired of school. But I am old enough to know that this, too, shall pass. And there are always the woods, or the yard, and the foliage and various animals to lift my spirits.

Well, school work is once again calling my name so I’m off. Have a wonderful week; try to get out into nature if you can, and I’ll see you all next time.