Healing In Nature


A Tale Never Told I felt a fish exhale its last in a sling that draped off my shoulder and fell against my waistline. Naïve, it paraded in a mortal world, an arena enveloped within dirt banks. Beneath the river's current, it fell captive to a worm handcrafted to kill. It died, only trying to survive. I rested on an otter's dam, looked out on the still waters

as the pitter and patter of footless songs burnt a burgundy red over the blue tips. The sound resonated within me, a hymn mute to the rest of the world.

Death took longer than I expected as the creature fought for water and drowned in the air. The breaths soothing as the piano man played his final duet

with nature's rippled streams, keen and then slow. As oxygen silenced its last words, it panicked no more. I wonder what it was thinking; was it confused dancing with monsters?

I was on a school bus when I first encountered sexual violence. I was 15 years old. It was the fall of my sophomore year of high school and my first year attending boarding school. As a student who grew up attending public school, I was excited about the opportunity to be a student at a private school in a new town. I was on the cross-country team, returning from an away meet. I was sitting towards the back of the bus, next to a boy I thought was my friend. It was dark. I remember him trying to reach into my pants, his hand covering my mouth. I remember him grabbing my hand and placing it on himself. He told me not to tell anyone. We got back to the school right before evening study hall. I remember sitting quietly, staring ahead blankly. I never dealt with the repercussions of the initial sexual violence that occurred when I was 15. Perhaps it was too painful, or I felt life should go on. Regardless, I completely blocked it from my mind for years, and I never addressed the pain that elevated from the abuse. As we traveled on, the rain started to pick up, providing relief from the current heat wave. We passed by a cave just off the trail around lunchtime. The misty air and rain kept up, and we stayed under nature's shelter for a while.

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