"I love people. That may seem to be an unsurprising statement, but for this introvert, it's a new realization. Perhaps more surprising is that I came to this realization in the woods.
I was still somewhat new at guiding forest immersions when I had the pleasure of guiding two women from Boston. The young woman and her aunt had limited access to Nature. On this particular day at Manitou, there were quite a few toads out and about. When the young woman spotted one, she gleefully exclaimed, “I’m never the first one to see things!” I smiled inside and out as the women eased deeper and deeper into peaceful connection with the forest beings—toads, spiders, and all.
Towards the end of our forest immersion, I invited them to sit with a rock and listen for any stories it may have to tell from its millennia of existence. After we finished the sit spot, we shared what came up for us. I listened to these two generations of black women share their stories—unique, profound and beautiful lessons they heard from the stones of the empty stream bed. It was a simple moment, easily taken for granted for those of us privileged with ready access to woodlands. I realized in that moment that as a guide I get to see people at their best—when they have returned to their home in Nature. And this is how I came to love people."