Clouds Never Die

Clouds Never Die

Pathfinder is a monthly publication to console, support and empower the modern widow/er. A recent article based on an interview with me on how nature can help heal grief can be found on their website about 2/3 down the page.

For a complete copy of the article, consider subscribing to the magazine.

UCONN SSW Fall 2014 006EcoTherapist Beth Lapin is offering a series of four workshops in May in Middletown, CT. Details:

HEALING NATURE
Dates (Thursdays): May 7, 14, 21, and 28
Times:  6:30 – 8 pm
Location: Camp Building, Ron McCutcheon Park at Crystal
Lake​, Middletown, CT​
Fee: $65
Instructor Name: Beth Lapin  (beth@healingnaturect.com)
Ages: 18+

Description: In our hectic world, discover the calming,
peaceful benefit of nature.  In this program, we will use our
senses to strengthen our connection with the natural world
and be introduced to several techniques to help relax and let
go of daily stress. In addition, we will use our creative outlets
such as writing, drawing, music/sound, and movement, to
express our experiences and address weekly environmental
topics. Come explore what nature can do for you and what
you can give back!

Use the registration form to the right, which can be mailed to Middletown Recreation Division. ​2015 HN Registration Form

​Or email Beth, contact Recreation at (860) 638-4500, or download their brochure.

Healing Nature WATER 06.21.12 004In our hectic world, discover the calming, peaceful benefit of nature. In this program, we will use our senses to strengthen our connection with the natural world and be introduced to several techniques to help relax and let go of daily stress. In addition, we will use our creative outlets such as writing, drawing, music/sound, and movement, to express our experiences and address weekly environmental topics. Come explore what nature can do for you and what you can give back!

Register online at www.middletownct.gov/webtrac, or at Middletown Park and Recreation, 100 Riverview Center, #140, $65 for four sessions, Thursday evenings, May 1, 8, 15, 22. Questions: Beth@HealingNatureCT.com or 860 398 4470.  2014 Healing Nature Class Registration Form

On Saturday, I visited the Smith College Bulb Show in Northampton, MA. I stopped at the door, absolutely stunned and shocked by the vibrancy of the colors. I hadn’t realized how little my eye cones had been working all winter! Here are some of the beauties ~

Smith College Bulb Show 009

Smith College Bulb Show 007

Smith College Bulb Show 008

Smith College Bulb Show 005

Smith College Bulb Show 004

Smith College Bulb Show 001

Smith College Bulb Show 002

The Secret GardenI was riding the train to NYC, when I decided to reread The Secret Garden, which my (adult) daughter had downloaded onto my Kindle. I vaguely remembered the simple plot, written in 1911 by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and thought it would be entertaining.

 To be honest, I started in a grumpy frame of mind. We’d had some difficult times over the past few months, spurred by the Newtown shootings and several snowstorms, including one that dumped almost three feet of snow at my house,  took me days to shovel out, and left water dripping on the inside of my porch from clogged gutters. So I was perfectly matched with character Mary’s initial sour looks and nasty mood. By the time I was nearing NYC and halfway through, I had followed her to the secret garden, put my hands in the soil, heard the robin sing, met interesting friends, and was immensely cheered. On the reverse trip home, I finished and sat back to say, “Ecotherapy at its finest!”

 For truly that’s the gist of the story. Get out in the fresh air; it will do you wonders, it will heal your physical and emotional wounds, and will bring you great joy! I highly recommend it, available as a free download from Amazon.

Saturday, November 3
10AM
Haddam Meadows State Park
Route 154, Haddam, CT

Let’s meet for a mindful outdoor walk to express Gratitude for our resilience, Healing for those damaged (including plants and animals), and Acceptance for Storm Sandy in our lives. We will meet at the parking lot on the left when you first drive into the park.

Cherry and I got off to a crisp start this morning, with temps in the sixties when we met at Perk on Main in Durham. We drove in tandem down to Route 80 and had planned to put a car at the southern end of today’s hike on Cindy Lane, but I missed the turn. Instead, we left Cherry’s car at the parking lot on Route 80 and drove together to Cindy Lane. “Do you have your keys?” I joked as Cherry left her car.

Yes, she did and we continued through the Guilford Lakes area down Maupas Road. The scenery was lovely, trees fully green and rich looking. Meanwhile, Cherry had already started telling me about her new beau and their first few dates. I was particularly intrigued with the duck eggs he left on her step earlier in the week. “Hard to match that,” I laughed.

Our maps were a bit spotty, so we double-checked with a woman walking her dogs and she shared that the Nut Plains Woods entrance on Cindy Lane was hard to spot and parking was on the road. Very glad she mentioned that, as it was almost impossible to spot the trailhead.

At 9:00AM, we entered Nut Plains Woods and turned right. I wondered out loud if we would be able to find the blue trail along the white blazed Guilford Land Trust parcel. We continued along for about fifteen minutes and, voila, there it was! I did a little happy dance and felt confident we would easily find Cherry’s car 4.7 miles ahead.

By then, we were talking about Cherry’s potential retirement and focus on her future. It wasn’t long before I’d started telling her about my recent dates and my hopes for their progress. The trail was lovely, fairly level, through deeply shaded paths. In a few sections, we crossed planks over what would be wet areas in the spring but were bone-dry after this dry summer.

We crossed Willow Road and continued along, sharing our plans for the coming weekend. Cherry described her efforts to balance her need for alone time with this blossoming relationship. We noted that, being older, sometimes it’s a challenge to fit new things into our lives.

Suddenly, Cherry stopped. “I left my keys in your car down on Cindy Lane.” Ooops. Out came the map and we decided to continue to North Madison Road and walk back along the roads. That way, we would have covered the southern part of this section of the trail and could easily park on North Madison and head north to Route 80 on our next outing. And also we could spot where the trail crossed North Madison, so we could find it next time.

Before long, we were on North Madison and walking back to my car. By then, the sun was higher and it was warmer and definitely sunnier along the roads. Our conversation drifted to my ecotherapy work and recent progress with that. By the time we reached my car and drove back to Route 80 where Cherry was parked, she had given me some new ideas and leads on potential directions. We ended our trip after two hours and covered an additional 1.5 miles of the Menunkatuck Trail. Cherry was apologetic about our switch in plans due to forgetting her keys. I assured her suggestions wouldn’t have happened if we had stayed on our original plan and that was worth plenty. We look forward to returning next month for our missing section.

For those of you who missed the COMCAST airing of Beth Lapin’s interview about ecotherapy, it’s up on YouTube now (please excuse the annoying ads that are included): Beth’s Interview

Just had opportunity to enjoy your presentation.  I thought you were able to cover a lot of ground ( pun intended!) and it was very thought provoking. ~GB

I thought your interview was so informative . It certainly gives people an idea on what ecotherapy is.. ~CC

I watched you on TV and you did a great job. It was very interesting. It was fun seeing “your” show! ~EH

On Friday, August 24 at 7pm the local access channel 15 will broadcast an interview with ecotherapist Beth lapin. If you’ve wanted to know what it’s all about, take a listen to the 30 minute production.

In addition, Beth will be offering a labyrinth walk at 7pm on Friday, August 31 (Haddam, CT)  and a four-week session on ecotherapy at Middlesex Community College (Middletown, CT) starting mid-September. See details on the NEWS & EVENTS page of this site.

We are expecting thunderstorms, so I go out to gather peas and raspberries before they arrive. The peas are stubborn. I have to rip some of them from the vine. I am rushing and they don’t cooperate. The sky is getting black and I hear thunder to the west. I give up on the peas and move to the raspberries. I tug and pull and gather, filling my basket. Midway through, as the thunder grows louder and the sky gets blacker, it occurs to me to ask permission of these raspberry canes and be grateful for their yummy fruit. Then, the berries come easily into my hand, almost dropping from the plants and I see the first flash of lightning. Back inside.

The storm gathers, gusts of wind flowing through the open windows and the thunder gets louder. I suddenly see the parallel between the storm and my feelings. Two days ago I lost my nineteen year old cat. My inner clouds were dark then, gathering, tension in the air. How would his transition be, would I have to help, would it be peaceful? The process was slow and uncertain, ugly at times, dark and brew-some: I had left a message for the vet. When I got back outside, Willie was gone. Not in any of this usually hiding places. I searched for the swarm of flies that had been flowing him, listened for his rasping, wheezy breathing and I couldn’t find him. I tried to listen to my heart and decided he had intentionally left, wanting to be alone, to spare me of the actuality of it, the choice, and decisions. But I spent the afternoon in agony, crying, wandering, looking, searching, trying to find peace.

Today, with the storm almost here, I now sit upstairs on my meditation pillow and feel the surges of the storm blowing through the window and recognize it’s like the gusts of uncertainty and angst that have been with me for the past few days.

I see all the parallels, the color, the smell, the sharpness, and hugeness of it all. And I remember that it will all pass and later, the sun will be out. I ask permission of this storm to contain me in it, so I can get through and out the other side. Cleanse myself of guilt and sadness. See it as a metaphor of weathering the storm and ending at peace. For certainly Willie has passed by now. Although I have no true knowing. I haven’t felt it. Two other cats disappeared when sick and I knew. One I had a rainbow and knew it was Tara. The other, I saw a coyote and heard Miss Rose purring when she wasn’t there, even before I knew for sure she was missing. But not with Willie. Nothing.

So I ask permission of the storm. And the loudest, scariest crash of lightening strikes within yards of my house, frightening the bejesus out of me. Is that a yes or no? Good lord, I have no idea. My heart is pounding; I pet my remaining cat to reassure him/me that we are fine.

The rain falls hard, pounding into the dirt, like my tears of yesterday. Pouring, gushing, drowning plants and insects; tearing my heart apart. It is still pitch black, the rolling thunder moving along the valley and echoing with each clap. I hear the call of a blue jay, a special totem for me, meaning I am not alone, and I wait.

I love thunderstorms, I love the volley of rumbles. I can only hope that this is my transition. My cleansing of the air, knowing that Willie has passed and moved on and is at peace and I can be now also. Once the storm is over.