Each year, we host Frederick Health’s ‘Camp Jamie,’ a grief camp for kids. This is led by Kaili Van Waveren and the rest of the bereavement team. This past week, this team of six needed a retreat of their own, so naturally, they made their way up the mountain to us! This lovely group of women came to the farm with open hearts and minds – ready to soak in every bit of the farm.
We began the day with a two-hour forest therapy session. After a sensory awakening meditation in the pine cathedral, we moved into our invitations for the day. The women were exceptionally in-tune with everything around us, which made for a wonderfully rewarding session. Towards the latter half of the outing, many of the women took me up on my invitation to remove their shoes. I was beyond delighted to lead these barefooted ladies to our final parts of the walk – a ‘sit spot’ around the pond and tea on the dock.
Every bit of the forest therapy walk was a treat – but the highlight for me was right at the end. Just as we were sharing our insights and experiences of our ‘sit spot,’ a great blue heron soared in prehistoric glory right at us before landing in a nearby tree. All eyes turned to one woman, who translated for me the meaning behind the moment: the great blue heron is her spirit animal.
After our morning together, I released the women back into the pine cathedral for their lunch. When their picnic ended, they moved into the pavilion for some team-building activities. We ended the day with visits to our farm animals – the horses, goats, and chickens.
It was wonderful to be able to offer this group of women a day of peace and restoration. We hope they come back soon!