Shinrin yoku, or “forest bathing,” is a Japanese therapy for reducing stress and finding a sense of wellbeing. (See my October 3 blog, Forest bathing.) Forest bathing can be done in a group with a facilitator or alone with your own thoughts to guide you. We benefit most when we walk slowly and attentively with all of our senses engaged until a feeling of peace replaces the pressure of daily demands.
I live in a forest and walk daily on paths through the trees. Over the years, I’ve taught myself to be more observant of the tiny, incremental changes that mark the seasons. Spring is filled with promise; summer is extravagant; fall is surprising and otherworldly; and winter is quiet and bleak. (The seasons in Japan, where I spent my childhood, and the seasons in Pennsylvania are almost identical.)
Thinking of Japanese forest bathing and Japanese seasons makes me think of Japanese haiku, a short form of nature poetry. So … this blog is an invitation to find peace with images and poetry of fall.
Photo copyright for all photos: Toni Albert
Toni Albert, M.Ed., is an award-winning author of more than 40 books. Her lifelong love for nature, children, and books inspired her to commit her publishing business, Trickle Creek Books, to “teaching kids to care for the Earth.”