I’ve wanted to offer a forest bathing walk for hydrocephalus* for many years, since I started guiding walks really. I’m not sure what took me so long but I know that this was the right time and I’m so grateful for this day.
That morning started off a little rough though. I hadn’t heard from the family to confirm they’d be joining us and there was some real heaviness going on within me. I hadn’t realized until then just how excited I was for this day. I waited for a bit after the scheduled walk start time then decided to head out since there was still no sign or communication from them. Another day it will happen, it’s ok, let’s enjoy the day going on in may head as I tried not to be too disappointed.
As I walked through the forest, my happy place where I always feel like I belong, where there’s no judgement, no rush with lots of quiet, peace and connection, I wondered what it would be like, what he’ll be like when I finally meet him? ……
We came around a bend along the trail someone called out “Are you Joy?” I paused thinking to myself am I joy? I don’t want to say I’m not joy and put that out into the universe! So I replied “My name’s not Joy” with a little laugh. Approaching the family I asked if they were supposed to meet someone because we hadn’t seen anyone else along the trail. She said yes, her family was here for a hydrocephalus walk!
I was so excited and said “That’s me, Melody!” After apologies and introductions this was it! This is why we were here today! I took a few breaths to ground myself.
At first I asked to shake his hand and as I did my inner child part** was so strong in that moment that she asked if she could hug him. I was not a grown woman in that moment, I was a young child-small, awkward, vulnerable and also open and filled with joy, warmth, acceptance and so much compassion and gratitude!
My inner child cried as she hugged him, she cried because she knew his pain, but also because he knew hers. She cried because she’s not alone anymore, finally someone, someone she is touching on this earthly plain, knows what it’s like. She’s never been the same as anyone before. She expressed out loud that she now knew she’d be ok because he was ok and it’s all going to be ok!
She’d never had anyone with hydrocephalus there when it was scary to tell her it was going to be ok and now she knew it would be, it is! She hoped that maybe she can be that person for him.
She cried, I cried, others around us cried… Tears of happiness, gratitude so many emotions, weeks later I’m still having trouble putting it all into words.
I’d never met anyone before who’s been through the same surgeries, procedures, pain, confusion and uncertainty as me. My inner child finally felt not so alone in the world. Finally someone knew what it was like to be me, to go through some of the difficult things I’ve been through, that I will for life, that we will because there’s currently no cure for hydrocephalus, just treatment, which is brain surgery.
I felt seen in a way I never imagined.
There are few moments in life that you can literally feel your body, mind and soul having such immense healing. This was definitely one of them. I still cry when I think about or talk about this moment and as I write this.
As we walked I learned a lot about myself. Things I’ve always wondered. Is it just me? Is it because I was born premature? Is it the hydrocephalus? Is it a typical human being thing?
Some similarities came to light-
Drink lots of water
Get a good amount of sleep
Eat substantial meals
Appreciation of quiet
Take it slow
Sometimes needing more time to think before I answer a question or respond
I understand this may not be only for people with hydrocephalus and maybe we all need to practice better self care and some people may be more sensitive to it, or lack there of!
Our walk came to its end, we said our goodbyes and agreed we’d stay connected and get together again soon.
I’m not sure if I left a piece or gained a piece of myself along the trail that day, probably a bit of both. Never underestimate the power of connection and its healing abilities.
You may never know the impact you and your family had on me that day and continue to. You helped me accept me for who I am at a very core level of my being. I appreciate you. Thank you.
**Parts work is one of my favourite, and a very impactful coaching tool. If you’re interested in learning more and exploring all your parts please connect with me. https://calendly.com/firrealnature
* Learn more about hydrocephalus here
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/hydrocephalus and elsewhere on the internet.
This will now be an annual walk and my intention is to spread the love, community and healing that this walk brought me to others.