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The Woods that Saved My Confused Adolescent Self

A case submitted by

Susan Bodnar

As a young child I used to walk through the woods that surrounded the condos where I moved to when I was thirteen. There was so much change and uncertainty. I found tremendous comfort hiking through these woods. They were my private place. I observed the relationship between plants and wildlife and discovered life lessons that could help a lonely adolescent female whose brain seemed to never stop thinking. The woods contained and settled me. They became home plate. After I left home for college, the land became used for more buildings and office complexes. Those woods are now gone, swallowed up by development. It saddens me. 

Preserving these spaces protects parts of ourselves because it is in this places where a child or young woman can be free enough from societal categories to discover her own destiny. I experienced this development as an intrusion if not an obliteration of my attachment to the place that forged and fostered my development.


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