Mountain Bathing by Kristen Heitzmann

20150724_160714The mountains are calling and I must go. ~ John Muir

Shinrin-yoku is Japanese for forest bathing or, in other words, getting into the trees and drinking in the fragrance, the sounds, and sights. This is suggested to promote health and serenity. Our local newspaper ran a feature on this concept, affirming what I experience once or even twice a day, hiking up the slopes and breathing mountain air. It’s about seeing three blue speckled beetles on decomposing roots, an abundance of blooming wild onions and violet hare bells. Water running over craggy stones. A hawk’s gyre overhead, sun through its wings. Stopping to see new bark on a charred trunk of a tree that survived fire.

It’s why I’ll push upward when my calves are burning and breath is hard and loud. To feel the mountain, to bathe in God’s creation. What are your “bathing” places?

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