I just returned from a badly needed vacation. I had been feeling exhausted and burned out. My husband, Ted, and I travelled to Oregon and California. For two weeks we immersed ourselves in our amazing, healing earth. We hiked and rambled through National and State Parks. We drove down the Oregon and California coasts.
We spent a lot of time with trees, redwoods and sequoias . I always find trees especially healing. In almost every religious tradition, the tree is a symbol of Life. Only within the past year did I read in a biblical footnote that trees represent the sacred feminine. That makes sense: Mother Earth, Tree of Life, Bearing Fruit, with “leaves for the healing of the nations.” (Rev. 22:2)
I cannot share these poems with you because this morning I submitted some of them for publication. They will not publish anything that is already published, even if only in a personal blog. But I hope they get published so you can read them some day!
I return to you feeling made new. Feeling truly rejuvenated. Feeling washed in healing Light. Partly, I think, it is because we need perspective. The burdens of this life sometimes seem huge, overwhelming. But to walk by the ocean, to touch a redwood, a sequoia, to stand on a mountain of ancient rock, sail on a lake almost two thousand feet deep, to feel small, to stand face to face with something so much bigger than we are, makes our burdens seem smaller too.
Not everyone has the resources to travel. My husband and I have made choices to allow us to do this. We live in a four room apartment, rather than a large home. We live simply all year to be able to afford an annual adventure. For me I need to travel far enough to truly unplug. For the one week that we were at Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, we had no cell phone service. This was exhilarating. A true Sabbath. A time of literal rest. Of re-creation. At the end of our adventure we visited my friend, Peggy, and her boyfriend, Ron. I have known Peggy since Junior High School. Ours is my longest friendship. She sometimes knows me better than I know myself. In her face I glimpse the face of God. In her presence I am known fully. In her love I am made whole.
I invite you to embark on your own adventure. To commit yourself to taking a Sabbath. To spend time with those whose love is balm for your weary soul. To immerse yourself in God’s creation, in this healing earth, and to let it restore you and make you new.
Linda Forsberg, Copyright June 28, 2015
Photos: Linda at Trillium Lake, viewing Mount Hood, OR; CA coast; Sequoia at Sequoia National Park, CA; Linda with Redwood on Boy Scout Trail, Jedediah Smith State Park, CA;Ted at Hidden Grove, Sequoia National Park, CA; Ron, Peggy, Linda and Ted, at Balboa Park, San Diego, CA; Linda on Multnomah Falls Trail, early morning sun, OR