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  • Writer's pictureDarryl Buckle

Forest Bathing?

Lately, I’ve been running through a tree farm near my house as often as I can.  This morning was one of those perfect mornings.  A warm -8 degrees C.  The quiet of snow falling all around. Perfect.

I don’t know if anything I just described appeals to you but it more than appeals to me.  It restores.  Genuinely.  I’m not alone either.

Throughout the scriptures wanderers and song writers have basked in creation as a place drawing the special attention of God.  Psalm 104 declares, “The trees of the Lord are well cared for”, and He “fills the earth with the fruit of [his] labor”.  This Psalm contains a tremendous theology of engagement when it comes to his creation.  Far more than the act of initiation, God actively cares for his creation and through his creation cares for us.  He causes fruit to grow in season, sends rain on the land, and all creation speaks his name.

A few weeks ago I read about what the Japanese call Shinrin-Yoku which means forest bathing.  I was relieved to learn that it had nothing to do with exhibitionism and everything to do with soaking in the health benefits of spending time nature. posted this great article on Shinrin-Yoku called Take Two Hours of Pine Forest And Call Me In The Morning!  I’m sold.  Beats a trip to the waiting room at my Dr’s office any day!

If you’re one of the between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 people living a stressful life, or just simply need a place to recharge your batteries why don’t you try heading out to the tree farm or forest near your house and spend an hour under the watchful eye and generous care of your maker.  It’ll probably make you feel better.  Make it a habit and I bet you’ll feel closer to God.

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What do you do to unwind? de-stress? or connect with God?


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