I have to admit, here at the gateway to my "advanced age years", not much actually turns me on. A morning hug and kiss from my lifelong sweetheart excepted. The almost- daily walk in the woods that we've practiced for the last thirty years here in the mountains of Northern California now has an exciting label....Forest Bathing (Shinrin yoku). It's amazing what a new definition and categorization can do for an habitual exercise.... and now, there are certified guides and organized groups for this type of bathing. I actually love this more than you can believe.
I am not being a facetious goof here. Forest bathing, mountain bathing and lake bagging are the foundations of my peaceful state of mind and the essence of my existence. It's why I thrive, by living in the woods, walking in the woods and bathing amongst the trees. I do not feel guilty for harvesting many of the trees that grew on my two acres...it's like weeding your garden. The survivors are healthier for the lack of competition, their boughs reach wider and they grow taller quicker than when they were crowded together. I built my house largely from the forest that stood on the same property that we have called home for the last 28 years. There are a few who bemoan the lack of a meadow or lake view from our woods but, not me. I love the forest and feel protected by their smell and their humming needles.
Shinrin yoku is a japanese concept that was introduced to the world less than fifty years ago. I'm surprised that it took us this long to label and identify this forest blessing. Of course, forest dwellers have known of the magic of "forest bathing" all the way back to our chimpanzee beginnings. The new thing is that here in America we have learned to make money off of the activity. That's not a bad thing, many people would never discover it's effectiveness if they didn't have to use their credit card to get them in the right state of mind....shopping. Shopping for Wellness legitimizes many of our activities, hobbies and fascinations.