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It was billed as a “therapy walk” to celebrate National Indigenous Day, so perhaps 13 Rotary Club of Kingston, Rotarians and their 2 guests, should not have been surprised by the slowness of what turned out to be “a slow stroll” in the woods.
Organized by member Shawn Quigley, the experience in the forest of the Cataraqui Creek Conservation area was led by the Centre’s Stana Oddie. Oddie, with seventeen years of practice, “exuded a love of nature” according to Rtn Paul Van Nest.
As they began the walk, passing over a bridge, the group was pleased to see a sign placed by the Rotary Club of Kingston-Frontenac acknowledging it was gifted by the club, which rather unexpectedly, linked the conservation authority to Rotary.
Van Nest described the experiences Oddie provided this way:
“In a clearing, we sat beside our own tree and listened for the sounds of nature and the peace amongst each others’ company. We heard birds, saw tall pines, felt a cooling breeze, smelled the pines, touched the soil and fallen needles. Moving on at the slowest pace possible, we came to another opening shaded by a very old, very large, very misshapen maple tree. What a story, it would have to tell if we could only have heard it. In both long pauses, Stana encouraged us to share what we were feeling. We then wandered back “by another way” to the centre, taking in nature and views of the creek along the way.”
Marci McMullen described how incoming president Rtn Alicia Gordon, offered up a cup of water infused with cedar, lemon, and lemon balm to the earth, (see feature photo above) after which, we all had a glass of the mixture and offered some of ours to the earth.

Scenes from the Therapy Walk

Experiencing National Indigenous Day both “alone with ourselves” while also “sharing it with others” created a sense of peace participants will not soon forget.
Contributors: Story Material: Paul Van Nest, Marci McMullen; Photos: Garrett Cole, Marci McMullen; Story writer: John Borst; Story web-editor: John Borst
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