Nature has always been my happy place. From the time I was a very young girl, I have felt at home among the trees. Safe amongst their roots and branches.
My great-grandmother Fern was a nature girl too. She had a lovely garden with the most delicious strawberries I have ever tasted. I remember laying on my belly and gazing at their beauty while searching for the the deepest shade of red my eyes could find. I knew those berries would give me the taste of sweetness I craved. I would stand up with grass stains on my knees, strawberry juice on my face and a belly full of what I was certain was love given to me by my plant friends. Granny Fern taught me to see flowers, shrubs, birds, beetles and butterflies. She knew all of them by name. While my mind did not retain their names, my heart did retain the capacity for reciprocal relationship with the more than human world.
As I grew older, my relationship with nature grew as well. When I was twelve, I had a lovely Weeping Willow who held my secrets. I would ride my bicycle to the shoppette where my Willow resided. After I bought a bag of gummy worms, I would come out and lean against her. She held me while I spoke. After each encounter I rode away feeling more at peace.
I always thought it would be a wonderful thing to be a forest fairy. When I went to college that was not an option for course of study so I resigned myself to something more sensible. The dream of spending my days frolicking with the tress never died. When I discovered the training with https://www.natureandforesttherapy.org I was over the moon. My heart and soul knew this was the interpretation of my lifelong dream. I immediately sent in my application. When my acceptance came, I did a happy dance and booked my flight to California. I was a part of Cohort 31, a group of trainers and participants that inspired and encouraged me. It was a truly magical time interacting with these amazing beings both human and otherwise. I am now back home in Florida so very close to completing my six month practicum. At the close of the practicum I will be a certified Forest Therapy Guide. But I like to believe I will finally be a certified Forest Fairy.