I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.
Thank you to everyone who volunteered to light up Panther Creek Park. The Joe Ford Nature Center is very grateful to have been selected to be part of this event.
As we wait for spring to arrive, the next few months will be dark and gloomy. This is especially difficult for those struggling with mental health. As well as physical well-being, nature can take away the winter blues.
I suffered the sudden death of my parent. I lost my father to a massive heart attack. I was out of town when it happened. I felt helpless. He was here one day and gone the next. A few years later I lost her mother. The amount of grief and loss I felt was tremendous. I got lost in the dark. I lost my identity. Still, the good Lord provided me with a way out. And it was through true friendship and his creation.
During this dark hour, I found myself back in the water. Almost every day, I called my buddy Chris Davis and played in the water with him. I put aside my trials and tribulations while fishing. I was open to the warm rays of the sun. I found myself laughing hysterically at Chris’ orders when he missed the big fish. Chris and I went on a little adventure and started driving with no destination in sight. We went camping and stared at the campfire. And my fear, my anger, my sorrow fled from me, like the embers from the fire are extinguished. And since nature abhors a vacuum, those feelings were replaced with hope, love, and peace.
If you have friends or family members who are struggling with depression or grief, reach out to them. Take it for a walk in the park, a trip to the riverbank, or an epic adventure into the wilderness. But most importantly, show them your unconditional love. If you’re stuck, stop by JFNC and chat. I must obey the spiritual axiom that I must give in order to keep what is freely given to me.
I dedicate this New Year and my mission at JFNC to my mother and father. Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. We dream of the adventures that await us.
Happy new year. May new happiness, new prosperity, and new explorations come your way.