Waiting can be hard. When youth first arrive at Ranch Ehrlo and begin the treatment process, progress can be slow. Goals can seem so unattainable, and home can seem so far away.
With the current state of society, all of us are being forced into a stage of waiting; waiting to see loved ones again, waiting to frequent our favourite shops, gyms, or hairdresser.
Although it is difficult, patient expectation is a part of life that we know well in Saskatchewan; every year, we wait for spring- this year, it seems to be taking particularly long. Nonetheless, we still have faith that it will arrive, however gradually and slowly.
The boys at MacKay House have also felt the frustrations of their life being put on hold, school and visits being cancelled, and being stuck inside. During group therapy, we discussed how this time of isolation was like an interior winter. And while we may not see the fruits right now, our roots can grow deeper and our character can grow stronger during this time so that when spring comes, the leaves will be that much greener and the fruits will be so much sweeter. The youth were encouraged to take advantage of this time to engage in their own treatment process, learn new skills, and strengthen relationships with loved ones, if only over video calls.
To reinforce this analogy, the MacKay youth planted seeds. Although the growth was not visible right away, it reminded them that interior growth is the crucial first step to a fruitful life. As we watch our plants grow and water them daily, it is a reminder that something IS happening. Even though we may feel “stuck” or stagnant, life goes on; it is up to us how we nurture the time we have. And one day soon, spring will come. The COVID-19 outbreak will subside. Our youth will move on to greater challenges. And those plants will mature and bloom.