bathing in forest air

(very faint tree shadow)

I create art. And then I do things to support creating my art. And one thing I love to do is get out into the beautiful woods of NH.

NH woods are like no other. Because there is so much granite – that both makes the high mountains but also the many boulders strewn everywhere – there is this sense of open space amongst the trees. A sense of air and light. The trees themselves grow tall and majestic, and the rocks are jagged statements of art in themselves, offering random moments of delight.

At this time of year, with all the snow, everything is softened. The sharp edges are nowhere to be found. And the sounds are muffled. So still. All is covered, waiting for the melt, waiting to burst into color and sound and and fluttering leaves.

But along with that, with the spring, will come the smell of the woods again. That opening of the earth, the aromas of damp soil and plant life. That intoxicating effect those molecules have on our senses.

I refer again to David George Haskell:

“Western science hasn’t stooped to take seriously the possibility that the forest, or lack of it, might be part of our being. Yet forest lovers know very well that trees affect our mind. The Japanese have named this knowledge and turned it into a practice, shinrin-yoku, or bathing in forest air.”

A snow bath now. And a truly sensual bathing to come. Forest nourishment.

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