A forest walk. For me, this conjures up the lovely surroundings around the Emerald City, the very one I live in these days, Seattle. In the Pacific Northwest in America, we are fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful forests of evergreen trees that seem to breathe in and out their beauty throughout the entire year. They never lose their leaves but seem to form an eternal canopy that visitors to our nearby forests can enjoy year-round.
It was Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial kick-off to the summer season. It has not been much of a spring with pretty strict shelter in place orders in place this spring, but a few weeks ago our Governor opened up the trails and parks for all of us to get out and explore once again. Although it felt like a very long time since I had been out there, it was still all there waiting for me when I returned.
I want to encourage you to take your own forest walk in the woods that surround you sometime soon. And when you do take that walk, get creative and be there in that moment. Really see the green on the trees, the moss too, and the leaves. Have your kids count as many leaves as they can.
Breathe in green. That’s right — once you are on your forest walk, shut your eyes and call to mind the glorious color of green and mark in your mind all the green you have taken in so far on your walk. Breathe in and out slow and deep as you recall the green living energy that surrounds you. The trees are living, breathing creatures. Seek to attune to their breath in their space. My guess is a sense of expansiveness will fill you.
It is a wonderful time to get back to the forest, to nature, to spend these long days, which still feel somewhat curtailed, in their beauty. Allow nature to give you her own creative burst of energy to charge your day and self to a place of calm but also growth like the green forests surrounding yourself.
Another thought is to revisit this same spot over the next few months. Do you notice any changes in the surroundings? How about in yourself? Is it easier to breathe green? Marking time by returning to the same forest spot a few times can not only track time, but also yourself in nature and its time and rhythm.
In the Pacific Northwest, most of our emerald gems will not shed their leaves, but if I attune myself to my forest, I believe I will find subtle shifts as time moves forward from here. A wonderful way to welcome summer and keep track of her passing by during this fleeting season.