According to an article in the Canadian Globe and Mail, ‘people around the world have an intuitive sense of the restorative power of natural environments.’* I count my family and myself extremely fortunate, then, that we live surrounded by woods and fields, where our daily walks are a balm to the soul. From the same article, I learn that the Japanese have a delicious phrase for this: shinrin-yoku or ‘forest bathing’.
I have been doing a good deal of forest bathing recently. My favourite place to bathe at the moment is in the woods beside the river. There, the green scent of the trees and the perfume of bluebells and lily-of-the-valley growing wild on each side of the path mingle with the river’s own cool smell, and the sound of the breeze whispering in the leaves plays alongside the bubble and swish of the water. It is a most soothing sensory experience.
My camera has not been working for the past three weeks. As is turns out, I have not much felt like taking photos recently, so I have not missed it as much as you might think; despite the fact that this past week has been gloriously hot and sunny, and that this May in general has been one of the most poignantly beautiful that I can remember. I do hope that the new camera which I have (at long last) ordered arrives soon though. What use is a nature blogger without a camera?
Meanwhile, I can at least show you this river-side path as it was a month ago. Then, there were daffodils in bloom and new leaves emerging. It was a beautiful spot in April too – but May is my favourite month of all for forest bathing.
*Thanks to Rachel Hazell for drawing my attention to the article.