The Present

This week I'm just sharing a few words to reminisce and look forward to the next chapter in my life and career as a doctor. As the weather has been very mild for this time of year in Illinois, along with a good amount of rain, I have had the opportunity for many long, brisk walks and bike rides with my "significant other."

As we sat down under the willows to study this past weekend (she prepping for Botanical Medicine and Homeopathy classes while I was finishing up research for a patient in clinic), I started thinking about my time under these willows studying for the same classes she was now learning. I thought about our first conversation together a year ago, as she was taking a bike ride, stopped to chit-chat over books, and ended up staying for two hours under these willows--not very productive for study, yet the most fulfilling for getting to know a wonderful woman!

2013-07-08_tim

I thought about the friendships forged, the laughter, stress, and some tears shed under these very trees. I thought about the planning process for the Naturopathic Student Gathering. The spot underneath these two giant willows was the birthplace of the Talking Stick of the Naturopathic Student Gathering. These willows gave shade and solace during that time; they shared the concept of the willow and even gave of themselves for the opening ceremony and its trappings, after some fierce storms came through town last summer. 

During our small adventures around and about DuPage County, just outside of Chicago, where NUHS is located, we would talk about our times here at school and plans for the future. Where will she practice; where will I practice? What about our specialties, communities, how much of our training we will need to brush-up on, modify, or grow to meet the needs of the town or towns we settle within. We talk about licensure, legislative efforts and growing our profession on a national scale, and the responsibilities that come with being a part of the growth of naturopathic medicine. We talk about educating the public in a sensible, concise manner on exactly what naturopathic medicine is and what we can accomplish for our fellow human beings' health.

Finally, as I was sitting under the tree, thinking about my life before naturopathic medicine, the journey here at NUHS and the career that lies ahead, our Mama Swan and her three new cygnets stopped by the table under the willows. They were reminders that each passing year brings new rewards, new challenges, new people in our lives, and hope for the future. Each new year brings hope for health, hope for success, hope for joy and fulfillment; hope for the ability to provide for others and ourselves. My sweetheart looked over, asked my thoughts and why I was smiling. I took in all the symbols of past, present and future around me, the willows over me, the Mama Swan and her little ones behind me, my lady next to me, the patient research in front of me, the wind whipping the willow branches, and mixing all together, I replied, "Just enjoying the present, babe."