Friday, October 17, 2014

Stroll for Well-Being

I'm participating in a pilot program at a local nature preserve (the Bloedel Reserve) called "Stroll for Well-Being." You may know that I'm an avid walker and love reflective reading and writing, and all of these elements came together when a friend posted on facebook about this opportunity to try the program here for the first time. It is already in place at the Morikami Garden in Florida.

Two dedicated women - one a professor of nursing and the other a professor in environmental studies, outlined the purpose and function of the program. It is inspired, and a pleasure to be part of the "beta test."
Yes, that's the family home; the Bloedels were once "timber barons."
The Bloedel Reserve is a local treasure. Sometimes, I take it for granted, as our family has property - and I now live - nearby. It is open for membership, and it is worth the fee, whether you join or just visit. The Bloedel family home - large for a house, small for a chateau - is graceful and beautiful, and gives a stately sense of "heart" to the property.

The 150 acres of grounds, filled with indigenous and imported plants, are best appreciated in silence, and the Strolls - mapped out in a beautiful journal which includes 12 themes, many inspiring photographs, quotes, and marked places to stop, reflect and write within each - are designed to take full advantage of the refreshment offered by nature.
Sharing this refreshment was a core value for Mr. Bloedel as he established and developed the property.

The reserve has structures which blend harmoniously with the plantings. The Japanese Tea House and Garden, the Orchid Woods and Puget Sound Overlook, the Bird Marsh, Trestle Bridge and Boardwalk, the Moss Garden and Reflection Pond are all integrated into the themes of the strolls.
There are a great variety of plants, trees, benches and water features, wide and narrow spaces, winding paths, stairs, textures, scents, colors, vistas and sounds to stimulate the senses.
In the past, I have loved to walk (fast) for fitness. Because of health issues which arose during the summer months, I have been forced to slow down and focus less on fitness. It became necessary to focus, with increasing patience and gentleness, on nurturing wellness within, as back pain, root canal and infection, ear surgery and recovery took turns demanding my attention during the later weeks of summer and early fall. I am truly grateful to say that I am finally able to walk a couple of miles at a time; my jaw and ear and graft are healing nicely. The Stroll for Well-Being could not have come at a better time!


Kim Andersen said...

I have an Auntie in Bremerton who loves the preserve and has seen much wildlife there. Sadly, I have never been ... There is always a first time though! Your photos make me want to put it on my list :)

Karen Gerstenberger said...

Kim, if you do plan to come, please let me know! It would be great to see you again.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, I so wish I could do that with you or by myself!