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Updated: 2 days ago

"I do not go to the forest to be alone.

I go to be with the ones who speak without human words."


Forest in the morning light. Asher Durand, 1855
Forest in the morning light. Asher Durand, 1855

Solitude and silence are not the same. Nature is never truly silent, though places can be found that have much less human noises than others. However what the artists above are referencing is more of a contemplative solitude, a place to be with other beings and your thoughts, not utterly alone.

Being in a heightened state of awareness when forest bathing, you might be shocked at what you notice. The interconnected systems present under the boughs are rich with stories if your senses are attuned to hear them. There is a favorite forest of mine that hosts some amazing old growth maple trees. Every time I enter this space, I sense a very strong presence. It always occurs at the same place along the path, so I know there is something reaching out to me, trying to make a connection, as I move through that particular glade.

The feeling of connection to nature in such a setting is profound. The rustling of leaves, the chirping of birds, and the gentle sway of branches all contribute to a symphony of life that envelops you, speaking without human words.

As you walk through the forest, the air seems fresher, the colors more vibrant, and the energy more palpable. Each tree stands as a silent sentinel, witness to the passage of time and the cycles of nature. In this serene environment, it's easy to feel a sense of peace and harmony. The intricate web of life that exists within the forest is a reminder of the interconnectedness of all living beings. From the smallest insects to the towering trees, each organism plays a vital role in the ecosystem, contributing to its balance and resilience.

The ancient maple trees, with their gnarled trunks and sprawling canopies, exude a sense of wisdom and strength. Their presence is a testament to the enduring power of nature and the importance of preserving such sacred spaces. As you stand beneath their branches, you can't help but feel a sense of awe and reverence for the natural world. The specific spot along the path where I feel a strong presence is likely imbued with its own unique energy and history.

Perhaps it is a place of significance or divine to the forest? A focal point of energy? Or a portal to another realm? Paying attention to these more-than-human cues and sensations can deepen your connection to the forest and open your senses to the hidden wonders that lie within.

The more you spend intentionally quiet time within forested spaces, the stronger your attendant skills become. You may find yourself noticing how the voices of the leaves (psithurism) change as they cycle through the seasons, or the different stories grasses tell depending on the type of breeze that moves through them.

Take some time in these summer months and spend it with forest beings who speak without human words and see what stories you hear. What do you notice?

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