(Pixabay)

COLUMN: ‘Only one green in the crayon box’

Discovering the Japanese concept of Shinrin-yoku or ‘Forest Bathing’

When my mom got tired of us kids in the house we knew to expect the familiar command “Go Outside!”

It was not a request, it was an order.

She would strategically wait for a tiny break in the ever-present rain, then announce the directive.

Mom had learned that a good dose of fresh air was the daily remedy for rambunctious children and frazzled mothers.

I recently took a trip to a lovely part of the rainy coastal forest and treated myself to several drizzly excursions.

Not only was the air freshly washed, I realized how much I’ve missed the delicious smells of the bulging green woods.

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Story Time: the heart and soul of the library

READ ALSO: COLUMN: Getting to the truth of the matter

When finally, bits of stray sunshine made it’s way through the canopy I just had to stop for a while and absorb the wonderful eye candy.

Towering western red cedar, branch-tips frosted with vibrant new growth studded by raindrops floated in the breeze. Layers of maple green, light to dark in every shade you can imagine. Douglas fir yet to be discovered by the ominous fir beetle, stood proudly displaying their lively new shoots. Swaths of deep, velvety moss clinging to textured trunks, defying the definition of green in every sense.

The undergrowth dominated by Devil’s club, leaves the size of dinner plates concealing the secret, sharp spines below. Ferns so joyously receiving every drop from above, lining my path.

As I let this amazing array of green settle into my soul, I began to consider how an artist would approach this scene. A little box of crayons has just one green – hardly enough to describe the lush and riotous picture I was enjoying.

In Japan, people can participate in Shinrin-yoku, loosely translated as “taking in the forest atmosphere” or its North American handle, “Forest Bathing.”

The first time I heard this term I immediately created a mental image of a claw-footed tub filled with bubbles in the middle of the woods.

After a bit of research, I learned that the term actually refers to the specific practice of immersing yourself in nature. The positive effects are said to include, relief of depression, a greater sense of relaxation that reduces stress and physiological problems. Almost like filling up your wellness reserve bucket.

In Tokyo, it may take an organized program to get out and have a “Forest Bath.”

In Summerland, we are fortunate enough to simply walk out the door and within minutes find ourselves in a bit of forest.

As usual, mom knew what she was talking about. Next time you’re feeling out of sorts, put on your walking shoes and go outside.

You could even walk down to the library and flip through some great books that may inspire your very own Forest Bathing like: Your Guide to Forest Bathing by M. Amos Clifford, Forest Therapy by Sarah Ivens and The Japanese Art and Science of Shinrin-Yoku: Forest Bathing by Dr. Qing Li.

Sue Kline is the Community Librarian at the Summerland Branch of the ORL and dedicated Forest Bather.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: Revelstoke does not need proposed Hay Rd. development

The development calls for 60 housing units

Which streets in Revelstoke have the most crashes?

The data was recently released by ICBC

LETTER: Kiss the caribou goodbye

Kiss the caribou goodbye Revelstoke! The $1.1 million funding from the B.C.… Continue reading

EDITORIAL: Improving highway safety

Highway 97 has seen plenty of collisions and accidents over the years

Sternwheelers once plied Okanagan Lake

Vessels once transported passengers and goods along the Okanagan Valley

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Passengers escape unharmed from destructive houseboat fire in Shuswap

Cause of blaze on Mara Lake under investigation, flames erupt at 2 a.m. Aug. 4

Alberta vehicles allegedly damaged in Summerland

Lug nuts loosened, windows smashed in several instances in Okanagan community

Interior Health reports nine new cases of COVID-19, 149 linked to Kelowna

Nine new cases were reported in the Interior Health region over the long weekend’s four reporting periods

Former Kelowna resident makes fundraising goal for cancer fertility treatments

Rebecca Hamilton recieved a boost in a battle against cancer - $25,000 for post chemo treatments

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

Most Read