Shinrin Yoku

March 26, 2017

BW photograph of trees against an overcast sky.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

At the beginning of the first chapter of her new book The Nature Fix, Florence Williams introduces and discusses the Japanese concept of shinrin yoku, or “forest bathing”.  Essentially, this is a deeply immersive experience of being in the woods.  Ms. Williams includes a review of Japan’s work ethic, which makes taking time for forest bathing more than just a pleasant experience.

Yesterday was sunny and nearly 80 degrees-early this morning it was 44 degrees, overcast, and quite damp.  Much, much chillier and monochromatic.  Nonetheless, it was good to take the time to practice forest bathing.  The last post referenced Maryland’s parks-the photographs included here are from Morgan Run, the source of many other photos throughout the years and a favourite place to visit.  Prior to reading that part of Ms. Williams’ book, I was unaware of the term shinrin yoku, however, the concept and benefit was very familiar-it easily translates to American culture.  Part of what makes this such a deeply satisfying experience is the opportunity to turn-off the inner chatter and outer technology, which includes figuring out exposures/compositions and putting the cameras away; sitting quietly upon the rocks; being still; and focusing on the individual sensory experiences:

BW photograph of the water running at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Close the eyes and listen to the water run.

BW photograph of the water running at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Cover the ears and watch the water run.

BW photograph of trees against an overcast sky.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Do both and turn into the wind to feel the air move over the skin.

BW photograph of a single boulder mid-stream.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Sit upon the rocks and experience the damp and cool invade the body.

This is one of the best ways to truly feel alive and at peace.

Take care.

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