Natural Healing Omaha Blog

Old Growth Heals a Busy City Herbalist

Old growth redwood muir woods

Getting grounded in old growth lends new perspective – photograph by Erin Horner

My 15-year old daughter and I couldn’t decide what to do for Spring Break this year, so we compromised. She wanted an ocean and I wanted trees. A tall order for a land-locked place like Nebraska. So we recruited her buddy to join us, found a couple cheap flights and spent a week with some old friends in San Francisco, one of my all-time favorite cities.

Since we’re city people, after 4 days of driving the twisting, turning highways of Northern California, a trip to Muir Woods, named for naturalist John Muir, seemed like a great escape.

The two girls giggled their way down the cool path of this awesome redwood forest, snapping Instagram pics and pointing like the rest of us at mammoth trees the width of small houses and ‘approximately the height of a six-foot person stacked head to toe 45 times’, according to the National Forest Service website. It was as easy and natural as if we were walking Omaha’s own Fontenelle Forest on a Sunday morning.

You don’t have to vacation a thousand miles away to get that lift of spirit that vacations bring. But it helps. Standing next to a couple of these trees, nestling up against their surfaces worn soft by the touch of visitors through the decades, none of us wanted to move anymore. We could have stayed there all day, soaking up the quiet, solid energy that made us all feel so grounded. Knowing those trees were hundreds of years old put our own few years of life into perspective.

I wish I could personally thank John Muir for making it his mission to preserve Muir Woods for my daughter and her kids and grandkids. It made me wonder if I’m doing enough to keep something I treasure safe for generations to come. Heavy thoughts for a Spring break getaway. But hey, I did get my trees.



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