Monday, March 6, 2017

Go Deep

image from

Go Deep

“In a forest, there is a quality of air emanating from
old trees that wonderfully changes & renews a
weary spirit.”--Robert Louis Stevenson.

In California, I hear, shinrin-oku has
    become a fad, replacing yoga & TM; one
            can sign up for week-long health adventures
    booked with certified “forest therapists” as
guides, for a mere thousand dollars.

The stats are out there; it seems that
87% of our time is spent indoors,
6% is spent in enclosed vehicles;
leaving only 7% for being outdoors.
It seems that forest-bathing can
reduce stress hormones and boost
our immune system.

I used to be a hiker, but I never did it as an athletic
pursuit. The deeper into the forest I traveled, the
slower I walked, breathing pure oxygen right at the
source, from the majestic canopy of trees towering
above me, feeling relaxation moving up from my
strolling ankles, listening carefully to the sibilant
silence--punctuated by wandering wind & birdsong,
stooping gently to touch bark, moss, mushrooms
and wildflowers--hearing a chorus of trees bending
& rubbing together, waltzing in the soft breeze, then
lying on a verdant mat of clover & sweet grass, closing
my eyes, only aware of the shimmering hum of thick
leaves, and the angelic stirring of bird & insect wings
massaging the air into a lullaby.

There is no mystery to this--when my soul becomes 
too dark & my heart too heavy, I just spend a day
burrowed deep into the fellowship of forest--and it
becomes a time of realignment, centering, and
essential reconnection to All That Is. For a time,
when I emerge, I am a better person, refreshed,
refueled & ready to return to my urban immersion.

No one is immune
to stress, so just walk into

forest for succor.

Glenn Buttkus


brudberg said...

Love how you go slower in the forest the deeper you get.. and how you are just there... you seem to have gotten the essence of a forest bath... we should do it to wind down... to be better us...

Xenia said...

A beautiful haibun Glenn, I love how your speech and breathing slow down as you enter the forest and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and peace this place brings you.

Frank Hubeny said...

I liked your audio version. When I hear words I understand them better. I like the hum of the forest. It puts a better perspective on the sounds coming from the outside as well as those the forest makes itself.

tonispencer said...

I hope this time the comment will take. I loved your haibun, the sleeply air to it. I felt like a child in your forest, taking a nap in perfect peace.

Jane Dougherty said...

Funny how we all seem to acknowledge the need for the wild places to recharge our batteries, yet out lifestyles go in the exact opposite direction.

Kim Russell said...

That's a great R.L.Stevenson quote, Glenn, and I love how you expand on it in your description of the walk - I felt like I was walking with you - and then echo it in the haiku.

Wolfsrosebud said...

It is a good place to find oneself after have given so much to others.

Grace said...

I agree, its very refreshing to go and immerse oneself to the woods and listen to the chorus and waltzing sounds by the creatures ~ Also love that sibilant silence Glenn ~

indybev said...

Your haibun was a good read, but the audio was wonderful! You took me there to that magical place where, with silence all about us, we can at last hear our inner voice....or is that God who speaks to us? Kudos!

Victoria said...

Beautifully described hike, Glenn. This line: listening carefully to the sibilant
silence--punctuated by wandering wind & birdsong--is healing in itself.

lynn__ said...

What a wonder-full way to hike, Glenn. I also tend to walk slower the deeper in I go, just to soak it all in :)

Sara McNulty said...

How lovely to hear you read your own words of beauty. "wandering wind and birdsong" "bird and insect wings massaging the air into a lullaby" - I felt like I was immersed in green peace.

paul mortimer said...

Some brilliant images here Glenn ~ 'wandering wind' is a stand-out example ~ but more importantly I so enjoyed taking that relaxing (the operative word) stroll with you. Great evocative write! said...

Oh Glenn -- this second stanza with its forest chorus absolutely sweeps me away with you -- the solitude, the communion. I so so appreciate this post of yours.
While I understand the need and urge to rant on the political situation we have about us now, this type of winding words into calm is so wonderful and you have such a skill to become our oasis----I for one, hope you take us to places like this more often. We need a release from stress -- but of course you must continue your western also!!! I wait each week to follow that saga 😊
Again, this is a wondrous write!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love this. Imagine paying a thousand dollars for the experience, when it is to be had in any forested glen. Your poem made me as peaceful as the walk you describe.

sreeja harikrishnan said...

indeed a refreshing walk...loved the haiku!

Kate Mia said...

The Forest
and the
and one
with lines
of concrete
to hOld.. both
open to more..
only one
space or
time.. aLive..
Leaves green
alive noW
without science
mind of closed..
as Life Trumps Death aLive..:)