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  • Jennifer Dowd

Healing Through Nature - Oct 4, 2023

The first anniversary of my mom's passing approached, and I knew that this day would be challenging for me. Grief is a complex journey, one that cannot be rushed or neatly compartmentalized. It can hit you when you least expect it, making the anticipation of this anniversary weigh heavily on our hearts. To commemorate this day and remember my mom in a meaningful way, my aunt and I decided to take a healing walk at Kinsol Trestle, a picturesque spot that held a special place because it was one of the last nature walks I was able to do with my Mom before she passed.

Kinsol Trestle is a beautiful wooden railway bridge located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The trestle spans the Koksilah River and is surrounded by lush forests and vibrant fall foliage during the autumn months. It's a place that has always held a special significance for our family, as my mom and I had visited it several times in the past. Walking the trestle was a cherished tradition for us, a way to reconnect with nature and with each other.

For this special day, I decided to bring along Baylee, my fur baby and best friend. Baylee is more than just a pet; she is a source of comfort and joy during these difficult times. She never failed to cheer us up with her picture-hating antics.

As we set out on our walk, the fall weather greeted us with a cool breeze and the gentle rustling of leaves. The colors of autumn surrounded us - vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, all beautifully contrasting against the deep green of the evergreen trees. The scent of damp earth and fallen leaves filled the air, and the sound of the river flowing beneath the trestle was soothing.

Nature has an incredible ability to heal and console. The fall weather, in particular, played a pivotal role in helping us process our emotions. The changing of the seasons symbolizes the natural cycle of life, reminding us that even in the midst of loss, there is beauty and renewal. The crisp air invigorated our senses, and the act of walking together allowed us to share stories and memories of my mom, both happy and sad.

As we walked along the trestle, Baylee joyfully bounded ahead of us, her tail wagging with enthusiasm. Her presence was a constant reminder of the unconditional love that animals offer. We laughed and cried together, supporting one another through the waves of grief that washed over us.

As the day drew to a close, we left Kinsol Trestle with heavy hearts but also with a newfound sense of hope. The fall weather had provided us with the perfect backdrop to process our emotions and find comfort in each other's company.

We realized that grief is not something to be overcome or forgotten but something to be carried with us as a reminder of the love and memories we shared with our departed loved ones. And it reminded me that, even in our darkest moments, nature has the power to guide us toward light and understanding.

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