Earlier this month, we were delighted to host a most wonderful group, Living Through Loss, at the farm. These parents, who have all lost a child, were in need of some restorative time in nature. With this in mind, we designed a special day at the farm for these folks.
After everyone had a light breakfast in the pavilion, we headed out into the woods to do some forest bathing. Forest bathing is the practice of using all one’s senses to take in the forest. As we began this meditative experience, I asked everyone to be silent and to listen to the world around us. Just as we took our first steps down the trail, Hope the Cow mooed peacefully in the field below us. The ladies all agreed – she knew we were listening and took her chance to be heard! A little ways down the trail, we sat in attentive silence on the rocky outcropping overlooking the cow field. Here we took time to listen to sounds close to us and far away, look out across the farm and down at the moss beside us, and notice the wind in the trees far above us and the breeze on our faces. On the slow walk back, we drifted from side to side of the trail, touching the bordering trees, allowing them to guide us back down to where we started.
Next, we began our Equine Assisted Learning program. For a bit more information on EAL, visit our page here. During the two hour long experience, our horses Snuder and Vinur partnered beautifully with their human participants. The amount of trust and communication between everyone was simply beautiful. One woman wrote us afterward to say that this was the first time in 20 years that she forgot about everything else in her life, let go of her insecurities, and could just be present.
By the end of the day, we were all struck with the feeling that this had been a special day for all. We hope to do more with these folks in the future!