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Victoria nurse inspired by watching otters care for each other

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VICTORIA -

Alone on a log, an otter seems to be having one of those days. Walking along the beach, Winnie Tse definitely is.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty,” Winnie says. “There’s a lot of hopelessness.”

There’s a lot of conflict in the world right now, and this registered nurse is feeling the weight of it all.

“As a health-care worker, it’s devastating to know that colleagues around the world are suffering,” Winnie says.

And then there’s the challenges facing our health-care system at home too.

“It can get to you emotionally and physically,” Winnie says.

And like the otter resting its head on the log, Winnie just wanted to lay low.

“When I’m down, I usually like to hide behind closed doors,” Winnie says.

Although going out was the last thing she wanted to do today, when her friends invited her for a walk beside the ocean, Winnie accepted.

“I always find peace being so close to the water,” Winnie says looking out at the waves breaking on the beach.

While it proved predictably positive to spend time in nature with her friends, Winnie never imagined they’d be joined by not just one otter on a log, but a whole family of them.

“I’ve never seen otters in the natural habitat.” Winnie says she appreciated watching how they cleaned and cuddled each other.

“It makes me feel at peace and joyful,” Winnie smiles. “It’s exciting that something this magical can happen in the wilderness.”

Seeing the otters transformed her mood so effectively, Winnie attempted to capture them on camera, so she can share the pictures with the people she cares for at work, who suffer from dementia.

“I think it will give them a sense of joy as well,” Winnie says, before showing me a picture of the otters stacked on top of each other with their heads turned peering at the camera. “I think it will be a little bit of light in their lives too.”

Like the otters focused on caring for each other, Winnie has learned that the best medicine for feeling overwhelmed by the things that aren’t in our control is spending time sharing the good that is.

“I’m really glad I chose nature today over staying home,” Winnie laughs, before breaking into a big smile, and agreeing she couldn’t be happier in this moment.

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