What a glorious morning it is on Hammond Hill at Camp Earth Connection. This morning I went for a run, well actually a very slow enjoyable jog, and allowed my eyes soak up the Trillium (a native perennial to our region) which is scattered throughout forest. It’s hard to find words to describe what it’s like to run through a forest with these beautiful short lived flowers surrounding me. Healing is the best way I can describe it. Being in the forest alone brings my “cortisol” level down which allows my “frontal cortex” to be creative, thoughtful and absorb everything around me. What does all that mean? It means, I can live in the moment, feel myself breathe and allow my body to heal or take care of itself. The Trillium adds joy to that peaceful feeling.
Just a a year ago, I started a new job with the Adoption and Foster Family Coalition of New York. I was so excited to be able to share all that I have learned over the last 25 or more years of being a Mom to my adopted children and children in foster care. But I should give credit where it belongs – as everything I learned was really from my kids. My supervisor, Renee Hettich is more explicit about this in her book “My Kids Know More Than Me.”
What happened though, was that I found out there was so much more I needed to learn and so much healing yet to do. I learned how early childhood trauma and pre-natal trauma effect our bodies and our brains, and can change the way we function in the world. I learned that our first year of life can determine how we develop attachments for the rest of our life. And most importantly I learn how we as parents and a community can support our children and each other in the healing process from these past traumas.
What is most exciting to me, not only does research show that activities like Yoga, Meditation, Breathing, Dance, and Creative Artst can heal the body and brain; but in addition there is a healing element from being in nature. Although many of us know this inherently, we may not realize when we engage in activities that bring our cortisol levels down so that we can be present in the moment, rather then living under constant stress or on high alert (fight, flight, freeze mode or survival mode) we can increase our lifespan. If you are interested in learning more, there is much written on these subjects. The most recent books that I have read and recommend include “The Body Keeps Score” by Bessel van der Kolk and “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv.
I believe Camp Earth Connection has provided a healing space for people of all ages since it’s inception. I look forward to finding more ways to connect people with nature through a diversity of programs and experiences at Camp Earth Connection on Hammond Hill.
Until our trails cross -wishing you peace and happiness in nature.
With Peace and Gratitude,