“In all its activities, Windhorse is about experiencing the depth of the human experience, and the essence of genuineness, as reflected in natural systems.” https://www.windhorsefarm.org/
There is nothing quite like a walk in the forest to bring the body and mind back to its soulful self: the rays of sunlight that ignite the trees, the cracking of twigs underfoot, the ferns that stir from their place in the ground, the chirping and rustling sounds of forest creatures, the moss-covered rocks waiting for an inquisitive touch, and the crowning treetops that sway in a hovering wind.
Each forest carries within it energy unto itself. The forest of Windhorse Farm is no exception. With each step there is an unspoken welcome. It is a place to connect with the essence of your true nature.
A wee tree, being in snow.
Sometimes, unconsciously, we become disconnected from ourselves and others. Without realizing what is happening, we often get caught up in the whirlwind of life experience, forgetting to nurture our bodies and souls through practicing self-care.
Self-care is different for everyone and is necessary to living consciously. Caring for ourselves could be chatting with a special friend, resting, shopping, a hot bath, listening to music, or any number of things.
Taking care of ourselves aligns us with the very essence of who we are. To illustrate, I use the example of a burnt marshmallow. The black coating, that sticky burnt skin on a roasted marshmallow is like the toxins that we pick up by merely living: socializing with unhappy people, taking on others' problems, eating unhealthy, and struggling in toxic work environments. But underneath that black coating is a smooth sweetness that melts in your mouth. This velvety sweetness represents the very essence of who we are. Ingesting this part of the marshmallow is a pleasurable experience, as is the sweetness of connecting to our true spirit.
When in alignment with our SELVES, we feel pleasure in everyday experience. Doing what we love to do aligns the mind with the spirit.
For me, this realignment happens when I am in the presence of trees. This photo journey retraces my walk in the ancient forest of Windhorse Farm on the LaHave River, Nova Scotia.
The forest’s energy may vary slightly, but it's magic remains the same; wise, nourishing, and intuitive. This uprooted tree has many teachings unique to the spectator.
In the forest, words are deflated by the hypnotic presence of the trees. Words are powerless amid wisdom so firmly rooted in unwavering intelligence.
In the forest, words are unnecessary. The forest has a language of it's own, easily interpreted in silence.
Amid the trees and vines, moss and ferns, there is a presence of mind that allows the voice of intuition to speak...uninterrupted.
And what about the spaces between? The spaces above and the spaces below?
The shapes, sizes, angles and lighting of spaces around solid masses are an added layer to the forest walk.
Moments with nature can stir physical sensations of thankful surrender.
Without words, without noise, without distraction, meditation can be as simple as observing the colors and textures of the natural world. Tree meditations can be a humbling experience.
I believe that walking with trees is an antidote to all that ails. It is where evolving life experiences can be transposed from crisis to a manageable perspective.
I recommend the Windhorse Farm experience to all forest-loving beings.
Angela McMullen is a poet, forest writing workshop facilitator and freelance writer who lives and writes in maritime Nova Scotia, where she is inspired by the rhythm of the Bay of Fundy tides, the pulse of long-standing forests, the expansive fields of the Annapolis Valley, the backdrop of North and South mountain ranges, and the distinction of the four seasons.
Angela's most recent work is a slim book of poetry that captures the pure essence of nature and her unwavering resilience. Infused with undertones of Italian influence, this collection of poetry speaks for itself. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=angela+hutchinson+mcmullen+poplars+dancing+in+the+wind&ref=nb_sb_noss