FOREST BATHING - 16th JULY 2023
Updated: Jul 24
Such a powerful Forest Bathing walk, one of the best I have guided /
been inspired to lead so far.
A group of 6 people enjoying every aspect of the walk, and the connection with trees was strong from the start. Some walkers being inspired by the trees’ rootedness, others by the trees ability to be moved so smoothly by the wind. A consistent feeling of being one part of the forest and switched off from the radio conversations in one’s head. Exploring exchanging one’s breath with the trees on top of the steps where the river talks about its journey over and below the stones. The self-shiatsu posture of the Lungs and Large Intestines expressing the action of taking in air and information from the environment and offering back the out-breath and ability to release carbon dioxide and other gases that nourish the trees and the plants in turn.
There were playful interchanges with the river, the sand and the stones, too. Someone mixed the river water with ink to paint Japanese calligraphy. Others made sand sculptures or just sat still to listen to the river’s sounding. A full and moving river after the days of rain where foam residues formed ever-changing patterns on the water surface, offering a movie of exquisite abstract paintings.
And we mindfully shared poems, teas, biscuits and what was noticed during the walk. On the way, we encountered several orange and brown fritillary butterflies, valued residents in Hembury Woods. One of them landed on one walker, attracted by her blue coloured top and then flew to another walker, as if it too wanted to share its presence and be part of the journey.
The photos drew the group attention to the natural fractals to be found everywhere in the forest, from tree bark to ferns opening their leaves like arms to the sun, to the blackberry flowers many still with clusters of buds, to the fir tree cones, the branches of the oak and the holly tree, not forgetting the delicacy of our finger pads, resembling the pattern of a tree stump.
With thanks to all who took part on the walk and to Hembury Woods for all that it offered.