Above: A magnolia tree at the Bicentennial Farm on South County Trail … taken a previous spring.
By Bob Houghtaling
There are ways of engaging the world during this time of tribulation. One of these ways is taking a walk. While, for certain, there will be many physical, economic and mental health burdens to bear due to impacts made by the coronavirus, seeking a brief respite can offer hope and resiliency.
It is important to support your own mental and physical health during these difficult times. Walking, when possible, can provide a little of both. If you are not ambulatory, catching some fresh air, finding a place to admire the trees, the sky, and other beauties of nature can inspire. It is small and simple, but ever so important.
The present challenges often appear daunting. This is a time when sacrifices are being made each day. Sure, things are hard – that is why brief breaks are essential. I would like to share a poem that is dear to the hearts of my wife and me. Our son, Dwight, passed away a little more than a year ago and now rests at a site adorned by trees. The poem TREES was written by Joyce Kilmer during World War I. Kilmer, who was killed in combat, found time during a horrific crisis to extoll the natural beauty around him. Enjoy this beautiful piece.
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Please take care of yourselves and those around you. There is great beauty in this world – one of the foremost manifestations being man’s love for his fellow man. We are being called upon to serve. In doing so our efforts will protect those we care for deeply. See you soon.
Bob Houghtaling runs the town’s substance abuse prevention and mental health counseling program.
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