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an inTeRlink feature article

The Restorative Environment

by Charles A. Sourby CTRS-HTR

August, the summer is winding down and will soon be over. I paddle my canoe in local ponds, rivers and streams from morning until dusk. Evening excursions, under the July full moon are memories. Migrating birds are watching the stars. As I paddle, many colors reflect the changes about to occur. The green leaves rustle in the wind, loonsí cry mournfully, beavers collect winter stores, snapping turtles lurk, pitcher plants and sundews ooze with bait. Summer is a time for reflection. Reflected on the ripples of water are colors awash in summerís glory. I take time to look over the gunwale and see the reflection of a face that has aged. I ask myself if I know more about life, if I am wiser. I reflect upon emotions brought forth by Natureís changing seasons. I have a heightened sense of spirituality and connectedness with the larger forces of the universe just by being in the canoe. My spirit can fly free, without interruption, bringing me closer to God. I hear sounds. My senses are acutely alert. I float gracefully through reeds and marshy inlets. A bald eagle sails over my boat. Legend says that is good luck.† The canoe glides effortlessly. A Great Blue Heron, feeding on frogs in the reeds, flaps her wings and takes flight. Her reflection fades from the smooth water and disappears into memories of the season. I feel restored. I have recreated my inner self.

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