This week centered around water, something with which I have had a deep and meaningful relationship all my life. As a girl, I grew up spending every weekend either on a boat or playing in the river near my childhood home. Water to me then, was playful. It signified adventure and was a catalyst for many imaginary escapades. As I grew, water took on a more serious role. I joined the Navy just shy of age nineteen. Water became more authoritative and dangerous. The escapades turned to missions, and although the connection was never lost it was diminished. After completing my tour, and returning to the civilian world, water felt more and more elusive. It was like bumping into an old friend but not knowing how to spark up a conversation without feeling a bit awkward. Yet as I grew, it seemed I wanted nothing more than to return to that childlike sense of awe. I planned outings and vacations just to be near the water. Part of the group experience was to sit silently on the edge of a wetland, to observe and connect. There it was. These little bubbles breaking the crystalline surface, creating ripples that intersected with one another. My thoughts shifted. It was not about cordoning off different sections of my life, always trying to get let back into an old version of it. It was about allowing the various parts of myself to intertwine with one another. I could be playful and respectful, adventurous, and alert, all at the same time. The simplicity of a ripple in silence allowed me the space to have a profound thought. Water then became my teacher, holding a lesson on connectedness.
About the Author
Lauren is currently attending Johns Hopkins University in pursuit of her Masters of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She obtained her BS in Psychology from Towson University. She currently volunteers at the Center for Nature Informed Therapy and hopes to integrate mindfulness and nature into her future practice She will be receiving her practicum and internship training at the Chesapeake Mental Health Collaborative. Lauren is also a veteran of the United States Navy and is currently assisting in the development of a nature informed veteran support group.