It’s a new decade, my dear forest wanderers. Happy New Year! I took some time today to reflect on the past year of forest bathing and here are the highlights:
It has been a full year and I am continuously moved by the time shared in the forest. Every walk is different. Every session has new experiences. This year my edges were pushed when I finally had what I used to dread: pouring rain for most of the walk. In my training we had a walk in the rain and it was wonderful. And I often have been in the forest in the rain; and found it indescribably beautiful and just what I needed. And yet I fretted over taking a group out for a forest bathing session when the weather was going to be pouring rain. Who was it that said (Bob Dylan, Bob Marley or Roger Miller!) ‘Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet’? We felt the rain! People on that walk afterwards said how happy they were that we didn’t miss the rain. It was the rain itself that awakened the senses, set the forest to its heavy drinking and allowed us people to remember how much fun rain is… what can happen when we give ourselves permission to get wet, to drink raindrops, to watch water trickle and flow… to stomp in a puddle. When we stop seeking shelter and dryness and lean in to what is – and it was pouring.
Another edge for me has been winter walks. I’m asked pretty often if I lead winter walks. The winter is my off-season for group walks, but I am in the forest either by myself or with my dogs or my guys all year. And winter is a favourite season for me in the forest.
“Let silence take you to the core of life.” – Rumi
I look forward to seeing you on the trail.