This week I walk the crisp leafed forest floor of Walden woods on two occasions, driven there by my frayed psyche.
On the first visit I walk fast, hardly stopping to take photos, scanning the blue grey water as I move through the trees, glancing up at the blue grey sky as one foot crunches down after the other on dead decaying leaves. I am in no hurry to get anywhere, I am hurrying from somewhere. Shaking off a sadness I am feeling after saying good bye to a dog I have been walking for four months and will see no more. Saying good bye to a faithful friend. I need to move away quickly, to move on. So I find myself at Walden, seeking solace amongst the trees. A figure fleeing through a landscape held together by bare limbs.
On my second visit I move slowly, and more deeply into the forest though I do not lose sight of the water. It is my anchor. I watch it from beyond the trunks and branches of the winter forest. I wander, breathing deeply, slowing and calming myself after a busy morning. I watch the forest drift lazily before my eyes, engulfing me in her silence. She gives me the medicine I need to steady and ground.
Two days. Two moods. One forest of many trees. A force within me propelling me to them because instinctively I know their healing capacity.
This morning I open my email and read that the healing garden at Childrens Hospital Boston is closed. That the construction to build a clinical space on it will go ahead. I think of the glorious redwood tree I spent so many hours under, walking around, looking up at. How it sheltered me and my family, my daughter when she was a patient at Childrens for four years six years ago.
I wondered how many hearts would grieve as mine did as I read the fight to save the healing space seems lost. The garden now closed and guarded. I thought of how I come to Walden to walk among the trees when I need to heal even from the littlest upsets in my life. I wondered how many children, how many families can’t get to Walden, won’t get to that garden any more. I wondered how many angels in heaven cried tears knowing the garden is destined to become a concrete construction zone.
I wondered what my spirit daughter who last felt the sun on her skin in that garden feels.
Wondering about this now, I need to go to Walden and walk amongst the trees to heal.
*for more information on the current situation with Prouty Garden go to