by Linda Lombardo, Wild Heart Nature Connection (both in words and in photos)
As a certified Forest Therapy guide, I’m often asked why someone would need me to lead them on a ‘hike’ through the woods. To say that it’s my sacred activism would only create more confusion or even the occasional ‘face screaming in fear’ emoji that mimics Edvard Munch’s famous painting, The Scream. Yes, it’s been done. Perhaps my sacred activism is also to share what I know about what Forest Therapy is and isn’t.
Hand & Rock - Sands Point Preserve
You see, many of us have forgotten just how personal nature is.
You see, many of us have forgotten just how personal nature is. It’s become something we walk through, talking on our phones or with ear buds that blast our favorite music as we ‘get in’ those 10,000 steps or burn those extra, unwanted calories. I don’t want to make that wrong. I just want to express that it’s not the only way to be outside.
A Forest Therapy walk is more than a hike. It is more than time spent in nature, moving quickly along a trail. It is a walk with nature, connecting to trees and plants, reflecting with water, holding a stone that’s tumbled through eons of time to be held by you at this moment in time. It is slowing down and noticing what’s in motion when it isn’t us. It’s opening ourselves to the pleasures of presence: hearing, seeing, sensing the world around us and us, part of it all.