The Trees and I
To me it doesn't matter what season it is. I've always been attracted to trees. Perhaps it's because my sister, when in High School, would draw trees....trees with leaves, trees in the Winter...always trees and they were beautiful. Then again, it could be because of my rural upbringing, trudging through the woods to chop the ice on the brook so the Angus and horses would have free-flowing water. Perhaps it's because, when we lived in VA, we were surrounded by 17 acres of forest. Needless to say, my love for trees, whether conifers, evergreens or deciduous, continues.
Well, in a recent article published in Connecticut Woodlands, I read about something called Shrinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. No, I have never participated in a class. However, I think I might as CFPA (Connecticut Forest and Parks Assoc) will continue to host "Forest Bathing Rambles."
And no, you don't literally take a bath in the forest. Apparently, according to the article, Shrinrin-yoku, a Japanese practice, "is a slow, meditative walk in the woods." According to studies, by reducing cortisol levels, it can reduce anxiety, and stress and "improve the immune system by boosting natural killer cells."
The silent walks are conducted by a guide, pausing periodically to focus on one sense at a time. According to the article and the instructor, "It is really about the trees. Nature affects our human biology. We need it more and more in our society."
While reading the article, I kept thinking about my "sit spot" in the woods, feeling the serenity and calmness when I walk home.
After reading the article and deciding I wanted to pursue this, I thought that Google would be another resource. I found this: