Interloping flowers mixed with pines,
moisture soaked earth perfumed
Mormon Creek surges
rushing in my ears
eager to hear all they can of this place.
The forest is still,
steeped in an outer quietude
that translates inside,
where my heart beats with a fierceness
mirrored by the raging of fire
and glows with the luminosity
of 10,000 points of light.
And then there’s the settling –
once the trees penetrate the forest
of my armor and misgivings.
A calm that hushes the
swingings of thought
and presses pause on the ol’ to-do list,
in the most reasonable of ways.
And there’s never any doubt –
blatant or subtle –
that this interplay of self and nature
is anything other than right,
sensical, profound and sacred.
It’s never been – or ever will be –
a waste of time to ratchet down
and breathe among the trees,
where roots wind in sprawl underfoot
and plans become a thing to be had
some place else.
My tired eyes are propped open
held deliciously captive by
sprigs of budding growth,
and the greening underbelly
A Japanese study showed that a walk in the forest – stimulating senses of smell, hearing, and touch while under a leafy, green canopy – increases positive feelings, boosts the immune system, and lowers blood pressure. They call it shinrin-yoku – “forest bathing.” – taken from Mindful magazine, June edition
I really like this idea of forest bathing. Yesterday my 13-year old step-son and I went on a little adventure in a place of Montana we hadn’t been to before and did some forest bathing. I wrote this by the shore of Trout Creek:
To dip a toe in a wooded glen is far too short a journey,
to glance upon the canopy for only a moment will just not do I’m afraid
With soft steps we must enter from ankles to knees,
from hips to shoulders
until finally with one last breath
our exhale submerges us into the warm fragrant waters of the forest
We must settle among the fresh green shoots of spring
that have come calling with the return of the sun
We must allow our hearts to envelop our sense impressions
penetrating through layers of toil
We must listen deeply so that we are able to truly arrive
in this most sacred moment
Let us share the noble breath of all that is rooted in the earth
Let us smile like the wildflowers cracking open in the breeze
This life is to be held in reverence!