WALDEN institute a place of comfort

You’re recovering from cancer, which in itself is a remarkable thing.

The journey ahead, though, might not always be easy.

Nature can help.

The True North Treks Foglia Foundation WALDEN Institute has opened in Au Train to help young adults who are cancer survivors connect with nature, and connect with themselves.

A Sunday open house allowed visitors to look at the expansive grounds and buildings, which are nestled near the Lake Superior shoreline in the north woods.

WALDEN stands for “Wakeful Awareness in Life, Discovery and Encounters in Nature.” It also has the spirit of Henry David Thoreau, author of “Walden.”

The purpose of True North Treks, a national nonprofit, is to give participants a chance to go on backcountry treks in western states. However, sometimes people want a retreat in a spot with amenities, and the WALDEN Institute is just that.

They will have access to warm beds, bathrooms and other comforts, but they also can hike by the rugged Lake Superior shoreline and trek through the woods.

David Victorson, founder and director of TNT, said at the open house: “This place to us is a forest cathedral where we hope to be able to bring some of that same feeling of power of nature, of connection and of contemplation to the people who really need that kind of support.”

The tall hemlock and cedar trees do make the grounds look like a cathedral, but they can be a place for people to meditate and simply rejuvenate.

Jacuzzis and saunas are nice, as are support groups, but sometimes nature itself can help a person jump-start life. It’s simple, peaceful and beautiful, and a reminder of what life offers.

For more information or to donate to the institute, call 773-972-2367, email info@truenorthtreks.org or visit www.tntwaldeninstitute.org or truenorthtreks.org.

The WALDEN Institute is a much-needed place of comfort for young cancer survivors, and we’re happy such a unique place has been created.