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Reflections: Winter 2023 and Hope for 2024

Walk the talk: my life's work. December has been an opportunity to step outside and let Nature guide me as I hold space for both grief and beauty. Photo credit: me with eyes down and eyes up in Yolo County.

a puddle along a rocky, walking pathway, reflecting cloudy sky
reflecting puddle along the path

I took a walk this morning between rainclouds. I was feeling gray and, as usual, Nature matched me and offered some comfort. She let me know that we could walk together and there might be rain and darkness. The path was gray, the sky was gray, I was teary-eyed. I kept walking and let my emotions happen. December has not been particularly joyful. Grief has been creeping in more than expected.

My body started telling me that we needed to stretch because it was feeling off-balance. While stretching, I looked up. I hadn't even noticed that I had been looking down so long. Looking up, the sun was in my eyes. It was breaking through the clouds and lighting up the sky. Cue teary smile. I enjoy the honest messiness of winter: plants mostly dead or in hibernation, sky is patchy with sun and clouds. It feels more attainable. I feel normal: part sad, part happy, and noticing beauty around. Good job, Nature.

sun glowing through a cloudy sky over a neighborhood canal
sun in the clouds

The past few years I have been an apprentice to Raynelle Rino after completing her nature- based coaching program: Radical by Nature. I opted in because it was one of the most authentic approaches that I have experienced. Bringing nature more directly and concretely into my work of counseling has been a relief. I have been able to hold space in Healing Hikes for clients, and myself, on the trail (live-in-person) and on the virtual trail (via Zoom). Together we walk, meditate, observe, learn, process and repeat. It's felt even more holistic as we include our Ancestors, Nature and her Elements, and movement in the exploration of ourselves.

Hope for 2024: join me for a Healing Hike where we will walk the talk and hold space for grief and beauty or (insert your emotion here) and (your conflicting emotion here). Accepting emails, calls, texts, messages to schedule for winter and spring Hikes.

Thank you for your attention and interest in connecting with me in Nature.

Julie Salzman, LPCC

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