It was my husband who first introduced me to the term forest bathing. The terminology brings to mind a stainless steel horse trough sitting out in the woods full of warm sparkling water while a naked being sits happily with arms on the side of the tub and head tipped back enjoying the peaceful bath and surroundings. As lovely as that sounds, that is not what forest bathing is. Forest bathing is a term that started in Japan in the 1980. It is about being in the forests. Walking or resting amidst the trees. Allowing the healing power of nature to improve your health.
I fully understand the power of nature to lighten your spirt, raise your vibration, and make the world seem a little bit brighter. Living in a northern climate, were winter lasts half the year, I miss the call of the dirt path through the trees. I miss walking between the trunks great and small, having the branches of the shrubs brush against my body as I journey on, feeling the filtered sunlight on my face. In the spring the forest smells like dirt and the occasional blossom. In the summer I think it smells like life itself. Everything is boldly green and in its fullest, happiest stage of life. In the fall, the smell becomes that of ripe fruit and the leaves decomposing and returning to the earth. Winter has a crisp clean smell in the forest. The frozen crystalline world has the smell of a fresh start. The sounds change with the seasons also, bird songs and animals scurrying in the brush, give way to the crunch of leaves underfoot and the cracking of ice on branches. Whatever the season that you decide to visit the forest many magical gifts await you there.
There is power there, for you amongst the mighty giants and new saplings. The life force energy that runs through the trees can renew you. It can renew you. It can help you improve your health, fight off illness, and sleep better at night.
We had an especially long and cold winter this year, with piles of snow that seem they will never go away. My husband and I journeyed to Washington State. This gave us a break from the winter weather and allowed us to get out and do some spring forest bathing. We hiked among the mighty trunks of giant Pacific Northwest trees. They seemed to reach up to the heavens. I could breath again. Suddenly all the stress of life and the rushing here and there just melted away. All that mattered was the forest full of new and fresh growth and our companionship as we journeyed through the forest. It felt like a fresh start. It was a healing journey.
There is power and magic in the forest and if you take time to listen, the trees will speak to you. They will share their ancient wisdom. They will teach you how to heal yourself and to care for your neighbor. I strongly encourage you to get out there and take a forest bath.