Free Forest Therapy Walk on World AIDS Day
Time & Location
About the Event
This walk on World AIDS Day is inspired by Franciscan Fr. Richard Purcell's legacy of loving his siblings: Sister Mother Earth, his LGBTQ and Franciscan community, and his biological brother, Marty, whom he cared for during his last years living with AIDS.
During this guided forest therapy walk, we will intentionally slow down to connect deeply with nature. While studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits to forest therapy, we will build on those benefits and look beyond. Through a series of invitations you’ll reflect on being part of nature, not separate from it, and your relationship to all other beings. Spend some time building your relationship to Sister Mother Earth, Brother Sun, Sister Water, Brother Wind, and more siblings of creation. After each invitation we will come together as a community to reflect and to connect. Join us on this walk to honor those who’ve returned to the earth because of AIDS, as well as celebrate the joy of living.
Please wear comfortable shoes and clothes, with layers. Heavy rain will cancel this walk. Folks are invited to stay for lunch at San Damiano after the walk. Please indicate in the RSVP if you plan to stay. San Damiano serves lunch from noon-1 for $20.
This guided walk is free, encouraging direct donations to Marty's Place, now an affordable housing cooperative for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco. Originally started by Fr. Richard in 1993. After caring for his brother through the end of his life, Richard opened Marty's home up to create a community living with HIV/AIDS in dignity.
About the guide, Joy Evans, MSW (she/her/hers): I love embodied, earth-based practices of prayer. San Damiano Retreat Center and Fr. Richard hold a special place in my wife’s heart and in my heart as well. Being with the Oak trees at San Damiano is medicine to my body, mind, and spirit. I’m currently part of John Philip Newell’s School of Celtic Consciousness and a forest therapy guide in-training with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy.