Walking in nature

One strategy I intentionally employed with the objective towards handling the grieving process and retaining a positive outlook on life is to walk in the natural environment.

I know that just being in amongst nature, absorbing the sights, sounds, textures, and smells lifts my spirits and reminds me of my place in the larger scheme of things.

I love the chaotic unpredictable asymmetrical and beautiful variety of nature’s garden: the choir of bird calls and insect buzzing; the extensive palette of green; the movement of leaves, grasses and dust particles; the unusual flowers; the occasional animal; and the absence of manmade ugliness.

Susan at Pillar Point

So I did and it has. I’ve walked the trails of the Mornington Peninsula and recently some of the rugged walks at Wilsons Promontory. The vistas at ‘The Prom’ are awesome (in the true sense of the word). The greens, aquas, and turquoises of the crystal clear waters sparkle like a precious gemstone. The wind roars like an oncoming freight train. The rocky monoliths stand in perpetuity – daunting shapes remembered from my childhood visits. The beauty fills my spirit and soul. Petty squabbles dissipate. My love of life abounds.

Back in December as I sat in the hospital room beside the waxen corpse of my deceased father on the morning he died, I received the words into my head “Just enjoy your life!” I’m sure this was a message for me from my Dad’s departing spirit, as he knows my serious nature more than most.

Tidal River Duck Race

And Tidal River is a place where adults can let their inner child run free. The group of people we went with really know how to enjoy life with childish abandon without the need for alcohol or drugs. They are a bunch of mostly retired fitness nuts. So we had running relay races on the beach. We rode the waves on body boards. We had a duck race and a boat with egg passenger race on the river. We laughed. We looked for wombats at dusk and rose at dawn with the birds. We snorkelled the rocky shoreline, walked and ran the trails, and relaxed in water holes in the river. We had a heap of fun.

So yes Dad I am getting on with enjoying my life.

Echoes of the early tides

Australian surgeon and author Tony Moore, has written two books that explore the healing process eloquently. Cry of the Damaged Man tells of his near-fatal car accident and how this changed his attitude to patients, whilst trying to heal his own physical injuries. Echoes of the Early Tides is the sequel that goes on to explore the healing of his spirit.

 

The descriptions in Echoes of the Early Tides are often abstract as he describes the uncertainty of navigating around the dark pit of grief that often threatens to overwhelm him, or those that find themselves in similar territory. It is all at once heart-breaking, depressing, hopeful, and eloquent. He states, “There is no sound more agonising than the breaking of a human spirit, and there is no sound sweeter than the pulse of its recovery.” His daily walks along the beach frame this exploration of the traumatised psyche, using the changing moods of the sea as metaphors for understanding.

 

A walk along the beach or sitting in the sand dunes amongst the spiky tussocks soothes my soul when I feel overwhelmed by life’s complications. With the big wild sky above and the sea so large and alive stretching out beyond the horizon whilst simultaneously falling at my feet, it is impossible to dwell on the trivialities of daily gripes.

 

Tony Moore begins, “I will need to be brave.”