The Healing Beauty of the 100–Acre Wood

Peace in Nature

Peace in Nature

It was a cool, crisp Autumn day 25 years ago when I arrived on Whidbey Island to begin the next chapter of my life. Almost the same day, I wandered into the woods at the Chinook Learning Center, and I have been wandering there almost weekly ever since.

I can’t really begin to describe the beauty of this forest. I could talk about the trees, they are the featured stars: Douglas Fir, Cedar, Hemlock, Alder, Madrona. I could wax poetic about the birds, my many owl and raven encounters. Or the gentle hours I’ve spent with deer in the woods.

I could talk about countless hours of journaling in various special spots on the land.

I could talk about retreats I have taken that have transformed my life. I could talk about how I learned to walk in the dark there, about how the land healed me through major life transitions and loss.

Then there are all the times I took groups of young people into the woods to experience their connection to Nature.

And my own son’s experience as a Waldorf student as he learned how to be himself in these woods.

There are truly many places on this amazing earth that could be described as beautiful, sacred and healing, but I am not sure that many people would know a place as intimately as I feel I know these woods, and more importantly perhaps, how they know me, how they saw me, how they helped me see myself and brought me into being.

I know there are many people who walk these woods, and perhaps even grew up in these woods and I know they would understand.