Marie sought the solace of the woods, the river, the lakes to sooth her soul. I took a year long class on resilience at Mayo Clinic taught by Dr. Amit Sood. The program was rich with ways to improve attention, interpret through virtues like beauty and gratitude, all backed by neuroscience and deep spiritual traditions.
A few months into the course, life pushed the reset button, plunging me into an incredibly painful time. Everything changed – the relationship, the step-son, the house, the new job, the church community, And then my beloved Siberian Husky, Keesha, died right before the holidays. It was like living in a bad country song but I kept the truck, or Subaru Outback in this case.
I could not concentrate or meditate or do much of anything but I could follow one of Dr. Sood’s practices. Notice beauty in nature. Everyday I’d find at least one thing in nature – a leaf or snowflake or tree branch or flower – and simply notice the uniqueness and the beauty. Even if it was only 30 seconds, it counted. And it made a difference. I’d walk the lakes around Minneapolis or slowly hike the state parks and let the forest sooth my soul.
Perhaps that’s why I knew Marie would escape the crush of society and fame in a peaceful small town along the river, surrounded by forests and and seranaded by birds, squirrels, and the peeping frogs. There the song of the universe would hum a lullaby to her wounded heart until she was strong enough, healed enough to sing again.
Grief is a funny thing. It has its own timing that is different for each person and each event. My father died during the pandemic. Soon after my aunt and my cousin’s husband got Covid and died. That’s a big change in a short time. I know others who experienced loss like this or worse during the pandemic years.
I felt a bit like Marie as I isolated in my house.Though many people I knew ran Zoom calls so people could sing, I grew silent. Once again, I noticed beauty in my dog Teddy, in the squirrels running along the branches, in the majestic wings of the great blue heron. I noticed the slow turn of the seasons.
I listened to the song of the universe,I wrote and that led me here writing these words to you. May you find healing in the beauty of nature. May the song of the universe soothe your soul.