Forest Bathing

A photo from the forest floor, looking up toward the canopy of trees.
Photo by me, Renee Roederer.

In the 1980s, people in Japan began using the term “forest bathing.” It wasn’t just a term but a practice. As people sought to get away from technology and the heart of cities, they would take mindful walks in forests to impact their health and emotional wellbeing.

Yesterday, I took some time to do that. I walked around for a good while in the Scio Woods Preserve, and it felt nourishing to be there. Though fall colors have started where I live, this forest was mainly still green. In fact, there was an abundance of green. I was surrounded by color, oxygen production, and the sounds of birds and rustling animals.

I also found myself thinking about the overwhelming amount of connections in that forest. Some, I could see, but beneath my feet, lie root systems of trees caring for one another. And did you know that every time we take a step, we have about 300 miles of mycelium stretching below the surface? Mycelium are the highly connective, thread-like strands of fungi that help plants communicate and spread nutrients. They transform the ecosystem.

Maybe sometimes, we need to get away, not only from technology and cities, but a sense that we are isolated, dissociated, or disconnected. Maybe we need to be in a place where connections naturally abound, reminding us that that is the true nature and order to things.

Renee Roederer

One thought on “Forest Bathing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s