Sunday, October 4, 2015

Outside

We all tend to forget that the outside is speaking to us. Its language may be deceptively quiet but those whispers linger.

Most people love trees. I do. Sure, they provide the essential oxygen, offer the shade, provide the resources. It’s all vital to survival. But it’s more than that too. People want neighbourhoods with big established trees. We try to save them. Kids love them. They teach us about change. They are reliable. They are resilient. They are potential. They mark our history. The only piece of my childhood home that I still claim is the tree I planted there when I was ten. When we want to remember someone, we plant a tree. (If I were gone tomorrow, I would hope someone plants a tree for me.)

But there’s something else too.

The poet Rilke wrote, “These trees are magnificent, but even more magnificent is the sublime and moving space between them, as though with their growth it too increased.” That’s the feeling I’m thinking about...that feeling of being surrounded by trees...that space among them, it’s alive.

Japanese culture has a word for this: “shinrin-yoku,” which means “forest bathing.” I’m a firm believer that one fantastic word can impact our thinking like, well, like when a tree falls and then everything looks suddenly different. This is one of those words. Picture yourself inside those places in the forest where the trees seem to lean in as if gazing downward as we pass. We all know that feeling. The air cools, the light changes, the scents swell, and there’s a calm. But why is it so calming? Science says the trees bathe us in chemicals they emit to ward off insects and slow the growth of bacteria. Science says when humans are exposed to these chemicals they lower blood pressure, relieve stress, and boost cancer-fighting white blood cell production. Think about that. Literally, trees heal.

Therefore friends...go outside. Forest bathe. Mend yourself if you can. Find some peace. And then be peaceful with others.

2 comments:

CLR said...

I can always come here and learn something, smile, and feel at peace.

bonnielynnsblog said...

I just drove past your old farm site this morning and believe me, the drive was stunning. The glorious oranges mixed with the deep green spruce were amazing even on an overcast day. The field of sunflowers along the way were frozen and I was disappointed that I missed them in all their glory. Regardless, it was a sight that always makes me appreciate living where we do with all it's four seasons

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...