A Wellness Day

waves-rockAs we continue our exploration of wellness in anticipation of the next issue of On Our Way: Recovery News, we are pleased to present this piece by guest blogger, Winter Hammell.

A Wellness Day

Winter Hammell 

My heart was raging like a wild beast.

It was a wellness day…

I walked into the fierce, sea-scented autumn wind, head up, eyes watering in the dazzling sunshine. The cold air passed through me, cleansing my mind. Out on English Bay, whitecaps were surging and storming. Nine black-hulled cargo freighters rode the waves, straining at their anchors.

Foaming olive-green waves thundered against the wall of grey granite blocks, sending frothing fountains of salty spray forty feet up onto the path. It was a game to race between the waves which made the path shiver and shudder and the air sparkle as if with liquid diamonds. Dozens of people were playing the game.


Everyone looked up.

A little jot of wonder made my heart jump in its cage of bone. Hundreds of crows like black, flickering shards in the sunshine passed overhead, riding inland. Then they were gone.

I followed the seawall as it curved west and north. On my left heaved the bay. On my right loomed the thick forests of Stanley Park, full of wilderness and mysterious shadows…

I felt a strange kind of happiness. I felt well.

What is `wellness`? Is it just physical health? Or is it that and mental and emotional well-being? Is it creativity? Is it spirituality? Is it playfulness? Is it having fun, and enjoying activities? Is it being with other people, with animals, with plants? Is it being a part of nature in all its guises, from sunny afternoons to winter`s rainy days? Is it loving, and being loved? Is it all these? Yes–!

Wellness is walks along the seawall and playing on the swings at Second Beach. It is playing Scrabble and painting a picture and cooking spaghetti. It is thoughtful prayer in a quiet place – church or temple or forest glade. It is everything any person can do.

Wellness is being vibrant, alive to the endless possibilities each day brings.

Wellness is caring for oneself as well as caring for others. It is an act of self-love. It is protecting, nurturing, comforting…

At the Third Beach concession stand I bought hot chocolate and sat on a sun-blanched cedar log facing into the wind, my hands folded around the paper cup.

I sat there a long time.

I felt better than I had felt in a long time.

It was a wellness day.

© 2012 Winter Hammell

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