The Rural Storey: Forest Bathing Retreat
Top Left Photo by © A.J. Gallagher/Unsplash; Top Right Photo by © Carolyn Eckert; Bottom Left Photo by © Connor Limbocker/Unsplash; Bottom Right Photo by © Seth Doyle/Unsplash
Author Hannah Fries is a poet, writer, and editor and, notably, is a resident of the Rural Intelligence region. She lives in Sandisfield, Mass., and it’s easy to imagine that dwelling in that densely forested area of the Berkshires has been partly responsible for inspiring this reflective, thought-provoking book. Guided mindfulness exercises and writings from poets, naturalists, artists, scientists and thinkers throughout the centuries are accompanied by exquisite forest photography. If you’re not already in awe of the magnificence of trees, Forest Bathing will take care of that.
Here, a few excerpts.
The green smell of the earth after a light rain. Sunlight falling through the lacework of leaves.
Just reading a description of being in the forest might make you pause, take a deep breath, feel the soft edge of peace that comes from spending time outdoors. You remember the feeling. Perhaps it’s been a while, or perhaps just yesterday you gave yourself a few minutes on a mossy rock. Either way, it tugs at you, asks you to return.
Some forest bathing vocabulary:
Psithurism: the sound of wind in the trees and rustling of leaves
Petrichor: the smell of earth after rain
Dendrophile: someone who loves trees and forests
Did you know that trees can "hear?" Scientists found that plants' roots will grow toward the sound of water.
They not only grew toward running water, but also grew away from sounds they did not like. If there was already enough water in the surrounding soil, however, the plants did not respond to the sound of water. It may be that plants have more complex senses than we have yet to imagine.
The forest is crackling with secret conversation.
One of the ways in which trees “talk” is in the form of electrical pulses via a system of voltage-based signaling not unlike animals’ nervous systems.
Excerpted from Forest Bathing Retreat © Hannah Fries. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.
Photo above by © Eric Mueller.
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