I was lying naked on a broad flat rock. My legs were sprawled out in front of me and my feet rested at the edge of the river. The water flowed steadily downstream inches from my toes.
The rock we sat on seemed to grow harder and harder as the sky around us grew darker and darker. The air was damp from a summer misting earlier in the day. The forest was quiet except for the swiftly running creek and the beat of my anxious heart full of expectation and wonder.
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 bottleContinue reading “Synchronized Fireflies: Journey to Healing, Part 2”
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 inContinue reading “Synchronized Fireflies: Journey to Healing, Part 1”
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 theContinue reading “Daydreaming Life into Reality”
It happened while we were resting. It had been a long day with heavy backpacks and high tension.
When my older brother walked to the bus stop for his first day of kindergarten, my Mother felt it.
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.
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.
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 journeyContinue reading “How Much Longer?”