For those of you who know me, you probably know that I am not a morning person. Luckily for me, due to the nature of my job, the earliest I have to be at work is 10am on most days and 1pm on other days. It just depends on which groups I’m leading. The day after getting the negative test result, I did not have to go in to the office until 1 in the afternoon. I am normally lazy on those days and will sleep in or catch up on tv shows. On this particular morning, I decided to get up and take a walk. There are trails all over our neighborhood and there is a 2 mile route I like to take.

I sometimes take the teenagers I work with on walks. Nothing crazy, as we are limited to the parking lot around the building, but we normally find a good spot in the shade to spend part of group. We discuss how walking and enjoying nature can be a coping skill. We talk about what we can see, hear, touch and smell. I took some of my own advice and put it into action. I went on a walk and admired the scenery as I went. I had a lot of things on my mind that morning, but I was also able to stop and take the time to enjoy the things I saw along my walk.

I took several pictures along the way of flowers. I enjoyed feeling the sunshine and hearing the trees rustle in the wind. We live in a very wooded area and as I walked along the trails, I thought about how life is very much like the walk I was taking. There were long sections of shaded path, but then I would come to an intersection. The trees parted and I felt the sunshine intensify.

Just like life is a journey, we sometimes are not always sure of the direction we are headed. We might feel as though a certain path may never end, but then the shadows part. We may feel vulnerable or exposed in a new situation, but it can also give us a sense of relief.

A storm had recently passed through the area and I came upon some tree limbs that had fallen. A tree can still stand strong, even after it loses a limb. Later that night, during the family group I was leading, I had the teenagers pair up with their parents and they drew a boat, storm, and lighthouse. The boat represented the family. The storm represented the difficulties they had experienced. The lighthouse represented hope and a goal. I had my families discuss the journey they were on, the progress they had made during their journey and where they hoped to go.

Life is always moving. I want to be able to enjoy life in the present and keep hoping for the future.