When I moved to Vancouver, I didn’t know anyone in the city. I just got back from five years of travelling and working abroad. Most of my friends were living in another time zone, which can feel like another universe when you are lonely. I come from a very loving family and a province where we greet each other with kisses on the cheeks and warm cuddles. Being a stranger in a big, busy city like Vancouver, I was deprived of love and affection. During my first week of work, I desperately tried to find someone who would want to take me on a walk in the beautiful forest surrounding Vancouver. On my first day off, it was still just me. I decided to go by myself. I found a way to cross the water and adventure into the North Shore Mountains.
When I was walking in the forest, I had strange mixed feelings. A part of me felt a little nervous about being in the wilderness by myself, but I also had an immense sense of tranquility and relief. I looked up, and it was like the Hemlock and Douglas Fir Trees were nurturing me with their branches. I could see storm clouds covering the sky, but not one raindrop was reaching me. The very reason I decided to move to British Columbia, the mountains, was protecting me. I looked around to make sure that no human could see what I was about to do. I walked slowly towards one of the giants of the forest, stretched my tiny arms and hugged a tree.
I have been living on the Sea-to-Sky Corridor for almost two years now. I have made wonderful friends, and I absolutely adore my home away from home. Nonetheless, when I feel stressed or slightly melancholic, I wander into the forest and go hug a tree. There is something very powerful in feeling the energy of a 30-70 or 100 years old tree that has withstand storms, fires, landslides and other hostilities of Nature. Amazing how a simple hug can bring you humility and strength.