shinrin yoku

dsc_2605smdsc_2541smdsc_2618smdsc_2597sm dsc_2531smsome of you are perhaps getting tired of photos of trees. but oh, i cannot get enough of these woods. this river. what is it i wonder?

i went walking down to the river with nay a couple of days ago, to a spot i had never been. or if i had, it was in a time of very distant memory, indistinct, hazy and has blended with other memories of other spots. she said there is a japanese term meaning ‘forest bathing’, which is essentially what we were doing: breathing and being in the forest. and i thought, yes, there should be a word for this.

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this is a creek that feeds into the river, swollen from rains and snow melt.

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i took some overtime at work yesterday. i don’t often because i tend to plan things right after work – like chiro appts – but yesterday the weather was heady and i had enough food and nothing else to do, so i took an extra two hours. i didn’t expect to love it, ’cause it’s work right? but it took me through new parts of nanaimo that i hadn’t seen on foot. you just see so much more outside of a car, you are going so slow (that is one of the things i love about biking). for a city, nanaimo is gorgeous, or i suppose what i mean is the land nanaimo sits on is gorgeous. there is so much terrain there! there are creeks running all through that city, creating hidden valleys in peoples back yards. there is so much forested green space. work is not always like this, but i was able to once again rejoice in having a job that pays me to walk around outside.

when i got home from work i finally made it out for a bike ride with no destination but the road in mind. the sun was shining low on the horizon, getting ready to set over the mountains, so the light was dreamy and red-gold. i have been seeing a fabulous chiropractor these past few weeks who is getting my back and neck into good order. the great thing about him is that he also does muscle work, so he loosens up the muscle that would want to snap the bones back out of place after he adjusts them. he takes the extra time. my back has been doing so much better lately, it still doesn’t rejoice over all of the driving, but with almost daily yoga, and more bike rides, i am hoping to get it back to its former glory soon. perhaps even better with the great chiropractic care. the bike ride was long and meandered through the country woods around these parts. i peered into the forest much of the way and revelled in the evening light over the fields and homesteads. i don’t believe i loved it this much last time i lived here. i know i loved it for sure, but it is almost overwhelming now sometimes. i have been trying to puzzle out the why of it all. as near as i can guess it is from having gone back to the prairies as an adult when my choices were fully my own (as opposed to when i was a child and where i lived wasn’t my choosing) and living there for 12 years but not really wanting to, just not knowing how to leave. so that when i finally made it out, it is almost like breathing again after not being able to take a breath in almost too long (a bit extreme, but perhaps makes my point), you are bound to be a little ecstatic.

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