Synchronized Fireflies: Journey to Healing, Part 2

Synchronizing Fireflies 2

With a deep breath and wide eyes, I pulled my car into the line of minivans and mid-sized sedans packed with coolers, hot dogs, and the laughter of happy vacation spirits caravanning into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I look around my own car, feeling slightly out of place. Me in my compact car, water bottle and journal on the seat next to me, and nerves fully heightened.

It was June 2011. It was peak season for synchronizing fireflies at Great Smoky National Park. This time, I was going to see them…Continue reading “Synchronized Fireflies: Journey to Healing, Part 2”

Synchronized Fireflies: Journey to Healing, Part 1

Synchronized Fireflies Part 1

The day I left on my journey to North Carolina in 2010, my mother handed me a page torn from Guidepost Magazine.

I kept it in the middle console of my little black car, folded neatly in half.

The article stared up at me as I drove, and appeared in my dreams throughout my first week in the wilderness of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Continue reading “Synchronized Fireflies: Journey to Healing, Part 1”

Daydreaming Life into Reality

Daydreaming Life When I was a child, I would spends countless evening hours lying on the floor with encyclopedias open and spread out on the carpet around me. No. I was not a child prodigy genius studiously inspecting the world of academia.

Like most children, I was imaginative and curious. I was creating a world for myself through the colorful pages of pictures. I was dreaming myself into adventures in far-off landscapes and blending myself into the beautiful cultures of humanity. Continue reading “Daydreaming Life into Reality”

Grizzly Bears and Rushing Rivers: Letting Go of Anxieties

Bison4

It happened while we were resting.

It had been a long day with heavy backpacks and high tension.Continue reading “Grizzly Bears and Rushing Rivers: Letting Go of Anxieties”

Growing Up in Haiti: A Story of Remembrance

Vanessa Ais

Vanessa Ais is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist who dedicates her time and energy to the betterment of quality of life for people with disabilities. Her story is an example of finding strength in your roots. Continue reading “Growing Up in Haiti: A Story of Remembrance”

Cleansing Rain: Releasing Your Frustration

Flashback to the year 2005:

I was grounded a lot that year. I remember feeling so isolated. I had dial-up internet access on a Windows 95 desktop, and miles of forest and fields between my childhood home and town, and no cell phone. I felt claustrophobic.Continue reading “Cleansing Rain: Releasing Your Frustration”

How Much Longer?

How Much Longer

Are we there yet?

I worked as an instructor leading backpacking expeditions for teenagers. Some days we would hike 5 miles, some days .5 miles. No matter the length, I would never tell my students how far we would be hiking that day. I wanted them to stay in the moment and experience the journey at hand.Continue reading “How Much Longer?”