by Heather Hill, MSS, LCSW
When I was pregnant with my first child, I took a day long wilderness therapy workshop in the the Wissahickon Valley Park. There, I was invited to do some solo time and sat on a high rocky outcrop of Wissahickon Schist looking down at the creek below. I was eager to capture this time of waiting and knew I was anxious about navigating this huge transition in my life. My attention was drawn to a yellow leaf being carried by the current over rocks and little waterfalls. When the leaf got stuck for a minute or two on some debris, it didn’t resist or bobble in a fit of frustration. It was soon taken over by the current and went on its way. When I shared this experience with others in my group, I was told that the leaf was a metaphor for childbirth and parenting. What I needed to transition into my new role as a mother was to surrender to the process of life and let go of my former role to take on a new one. The image of the leaf comes back to me often to remind me to trust life, to be part of its flow, or at least not to become frustrated when I get stuck in the debris.
Two important processes happened that day to allow me access to the wisdom embodied in the natural world: the observation and the sharing with a group. My observation wasn’t connected to my inner world until it was received and heard by the group. I’ve carried that image with me over time. Although I’ve returned to nature many times seeking wisdom and comfort, no image has stood out for me as prominently as that little yellow leaf.
I invite you to discover new meaning and wisdom for your own transitions as well as to build connections with the natural world and a community of fellow seekers. Register for one or all four of my Ecotherapy workshop, held from 9 am to 12 pm:
Natural Connections: Exploring Wellness and Wholeness Throughout the Seasons
Spring Equinox 3/24
Summer Solstice 6/23
Fall Equinox 9/22
Winter Solstice 12/22
Heather Hill is a Licensed Clinical Social Workers providing counseling to pre-teens, teens, and adults. She uses a humanistic and wholistic framework and incorporates ecotherapy with traditional evidence-based practices. To learn more and to register for one of her programs, contact her at 215-485-7205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.