by Susie Merz

For those who have been up to Brew Creek on retreat in the spring or summer, close your eyes for a moment and imagine how green it is there. The majestic trees, the many flowering plants and shrubs on the grounds, the grass. I remember it being luminescent, a colour that has a presence, glowing and alive. 

photo by Jim Glen / click to enlarge

Now look around you as you read these words. Are you in a place where you can see anything green? Trees, plants, grass? Research shows us that being in nature, or even having a view from a window onto trees or other greenery can help restore mental clarity and aid in physical healing.

As we cannot always be on retreat, we must look for the greenery where we live. The little park where a stately pine tree holds a corner. The grassy playing field behind the school that gets watered and boasts a vibrant green. The small pots of flowers and herbs growing on decks and spilling over from balconies. They glow; they're alive.


Susie Merz first came to Callanish as a retreat participant in 2015 and has since joined the staff team as a clinical counsellor. She has worked as a therapist for over 14 years, both in nonprofit agencies and in her own counselling practice.