My Wish for Your This Week Vol. 17: Bathe in the Forest

Occasionally on Mondays, I like to share a photo or two or a short video from my camera roll and a wish for others (and myself) for the week ahead. Since I know that not everyone uses Instagram, I also post them on the Optimistic Anthropology blog because the wishes often focus on themes we’re committed to in our work here - growing our sense of possibility, the power of changing mindsets and reflection, and of course observing the world, it’s beauty, and it’s challenges.  You can also check out previous wishes here.

This wasn’t an official “wish” but folks responded so positively to the opportunity to experience a bit of virtual shinrin-yoku (forest bathing), I thought I’d share it here as well.

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I’m not usually one to take or post videos, but my friend @mkbinmsp mentioned the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) yesterday in a comment about a photo I shared, and it inspired me today. Forest bathing is the practice of taking in the sights, sounds, smells of the forest through our senses. While hiking isn’t exactly the same thing, with my pocket wifi disabled and nothing to do but walk, I found my senses very attuned to everything around me. Japan is very quiet, and the Kumano Kodo is no exception. I’ve been struck by this as I would have expected to hear birds or the rustle of animals. And it being winter, there are very few people on the trail. I realized I might be able to share some small 30 second dose of the Kumano Kodo today. It was windier and chillier than yesterday, and the trail took me a bit higher, but also afforded me the opportunity to meet a few of my fellow hikers. That being said, I spent the vast majority of the 13 km (830 m elevation gain, 650 m elevation loss) “hiking my hike.” Which is a phrase I actually learned from fellow hiker Tom, and immediately loved. Because my hike is slow and steady and involves a lot of stops for pictures. One of those stops was when I noticed how this amazing grove of trees was swaying in the wind. Aside from the wind, the only sound you’ll hear is a sniffle from me (I told you it was cold). So enjoy a bit of shinrin-yoku and I hope you are as mesmerized as I was. #japan #kumanokodo #hiking #nature #forestbathing #shinrinyoku #forest #trees #swaying #wind #quiet #video #travelphotography #naturephotography #optimisticanthro #adjacentpossible #havelovewilltravel #visitwakayama

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Let me know what you think about this wish or share your own in the comments below or on Instagram where my handle is @AKGold11