“Take a Second to Bask in Vaccine Serenity”- Emma Rooney

 Today  is the day

that I received my 2nd shot, and I am over the moon grateful. In Canada we had a supply issue and therefore chose to get as many 1st shots in arms as we could.  In most cases we delayed our 2nd shots for up to 16 weeks. Now, our supply is consistent, plentiful and the 2nd shots are coming earlier than anticipated. As a consequence we do not take this opportunity for granted. Of course there are delays and booking problems – nothing is perfect. However, when I got up this morning I knew whatever else may happen,  I was full of joy and appreciation.

The morning, however, continued to get better as our heat came down enough to be beautiful and bearable. When I arrived at the hospital,  looking for parking on a side street, a stranger flagged me down. He gave me his parking space, his ticket with plenty of time left on it, and a sparkling eyes smile. That’s where we find smiles these days, in each other’s eyes. Once I walked the two blocks to the entrance, I was greeted, and welcomed straight in. No line-up.

The clinic

The highly organized system they use at the Ottawa Hospital – Civic Campus – was impressive both times I visited. I was ushered to my spot 12 minutes early and had a lovely visit with nurse Mary who told me she had returned to work six months ago to help with the vaccine rollout. After I thanked her and let her know how thoroughly delighted and grateful I was, she said this:

“This has been the best place to work. Everyone who shows up is happy to be here and in the past six months I have received more thanks and words of appreciation than I did in my entire career. I love coming to work and being part of this team to get everyone vaccinated.”

If it were not for my mask, every single person who saw me would have noticed my beaming smile. I could not contain it. However, earlier, when I parked my car and was walking towards the clinic I was startled to notice the depth of my emotion as  tears welled up in my heart and a few sprung loose through my eyes. It was clear to me how completely fortunate I was to receive this vaccine when most of the world has not received a first shot, and many will never have one.  I thought about the scientific miracle that these vaccines were developed so quickly and with such collaboration from scientists around the world. And my heart was overflowing  to every single person who had a hand in this. And to every single person who had a hand in getting the vaccine into arms.

Forest Bathing Studio

I was back home before noon and had a chance to pause and quietly celebrate this occasion by attending my second Forest Bathing Studio event. When it was recommended to me by a lovely woman who had attended a program I facilitated at Wellspring Calgary, I wondered how this could be possible. Forest Bathing indoors?? To my surprise it is a beautiful, mindful, and gentle program  designed and delivered by Emma Rooney, a Creativity Facilitator who is inspired by art and nature and informed by many years of formal study.

Yesterday I sent  a note to Emma letting her know that I might miss her session today, because of my vaccine appointment. The title of this post is part of her reply.

“Don’t rush,” she said. “Take a Second to Bask in Vaccine Serenity.”

It struck me as a beautiful prompt – to take a pause. To not miss out on the extraordinary ordinary, by quickly getting on to something else.  I chose to take that second or rather 3,600 seconds to mark the occasion, by visiting her gentle Forest Bathing Studio. I did get back in time. I knew I would find poetry, meditation, an invitation to pay attention to what is outside my window. As well as enjoying a sensory experience through that small window. A little scribbling, book suggestions, something to think about and the lovely company of a few others. No performance pressure whatsoever.

I hope you will all spend some of your moments basking in the serenity of a special, although ordinary, event. Taking the time to take it in, and even wondering what your life might be like without it.


Note:1) Emma Rooney’s website  has a great deal of information, but for starters here is the Forest Bathing Studio and a little about Emma.

Note:2) I am fortunate that my study is on the third floor with a north facing window, with French style window doors that open in. Light, shadows, rustling leaves in several shades of greens, along with bird songs are my workspace. And today, when I stood at the window, the most incredible fragrances wafted upwards. There is so much to enjoy even when life isn’t going according to plan.

Note:3) Please accept my deep appreciation for taking the time to read my blog and sending me such thoughtful and kind words. May you enjoy these precious days. Warmest wishes, Trudy

6 replies
  1. Judy
    Judy says:

    I too basked in vaccine serenity today as well Trudy as I received my second shot. I thanked the pharmacist profusely and smiled all the way home.Yes, despite the confusing organization of the roll out, I am so grateful that others developed a vaccine, when Canada was unable to, and that we were able to purchase it do that I could be safe. I wish we were a generous enough world that in such an instance as a world pandemic, we could lay aside our desire for profit and make the vaccine equally available to everyone. No, me first, priorities, but sadly, the world doesn’t seem to operate that way. So yes I am extremely grateful today to live where I do but saddened that there are so many others who may never get vaccinated or have it too late.

  2. Jean
    Jean says:

    We too have been blessed with second vac.My two weeks are up and I am being a brave one – having tea with one of my dearest friends and maybe a real hug. There is always sunshine close by. Stay safe.❤❤❤

  3. Wendy Kurchak
    Wendy Kurchak says:

    Hi Trudy,
    I’m so glad you made it back in time to participate in today’s Forest Bathing; I appreciate your thoughtful comments about your observations. I want to see that arboretum!
    In the meantime, it’s wonderful to see your smile,

  4. Meghan Innes
    Meghan Innes says:

    What a wonderful day! I’m so happy you were able to get your second shot mom. You have been an inspiration throughout all of this and I love you so much ❤️

  5. Janice
    Janice says:

    The way you radiate joy Trudy, I’m sure people don’t need to see under the mask 🙂 Yes, I too am grateful to have the second vaccine and wish for everyone to have that opportunity. Life is good to me. love you, Jan

  6. Emma Rooney
    Emma Rooney says:

    It’s really special to read your appreciation for your vaccine hospital visit. Yes, there are challenges, but it is something to celebrate. I personally felt rather emotional getting my second vaccine. The line was long and everyone was late for something, but it seemed monumental to be there with 500 other healthcare workers at the site in Toronto that has the Canadian record for administrating the most vaccines in one day. During my visit, I was particularly struck by how many women there were, about 95% of the crowd. It reminded me yet again how much caring women do in our society, and no wonder the pandemic has been particularly hard on women.

    I am so glad our paths have intersected Trudy and that you have joined our forest bathing group. There are certainly silver linings to the pandemic, and community in unlikely places is definitely one of them. Thank you for sharing and putting a full smile on my face! I’m beaming as I read this.


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