“As a child my siblings and I spent a great deal of time outdoors. In nature I felt free to be me; no judgment, no alienation, no awkwardness, just adventure and pure joy. The smell of the earth and the wind in the trees were our familiars and the creatures of field, forest and shore our delight. Outdoors, in nature is where I developed a sense of belonging and connection and it continues to be my refuge and place of contemplation. Engagement with the natural world is my healing strength. It’s where I find balance, emotional regulation, and confidence.

Philosophers, poets, scientists, and artists all have their view on the matter of defining nature. When I use the word nature it is simply a reference to the natural world, that physical world commonly perceived as being outside, as being something other than humanly constructed. Engagement with life and the natural world enhances our mental, emotional, and spiritual development.”

Excerpt from, Dumont, Marion G. “Nature as muse: spiritual healing through nature, art and dreams,” in Spiritual Healing from Sexual Violence: An Intersectional Guide, Debra Meyers, PhD and Rev. Mary Sue Barnett, editors. To be published in February 2023 by Routledge.

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