Thursday, November 16, 2017

Forest Bathing

Dark green spindles, from long stark branches
Towering trees in soldier-straight formation
They reach out their arms to one another
Block the sun
A shadow falls heavily across the plantation floor
Barren, carpeted in the soft orange of years past

Life cannot thrive here
Or so I think

"Breathe deeply," she says
"Close your eyes and listen."
I hear silence
But then...

The rustle from above - an unseen bird fluttering from branch to branch
And the wind sliding through those tight boughs
And the creaks of gently yielding pines

"Now let's walk - go more slowly than you've ever walked before;
Look for movement"
Once again, I see nothing
Quiet emptiness, still and sterile

There is movement from the corner of my eye
And then a bright white clown-like face is peering inquisitively
At our slow-moving group
A nuthatch watching these padding, plodding, lady sloths

A yellowed leaf, not long for this shrub
Twirls dervishly in the a breeze I cannot feel
Frantic among the quiet understory
And an insect zooms through the air, just above me
Bound for the next tree

I crane my neck backwards
And see those orderly soldiers swaying together
Concert-goers, shoulder to shoulder
Gliding back and forth to an old favourite
The stir of September wind

At this speed
(Which feels like going backwards it's so slow
To my frantic and frenzied feet)
Even the quietest of nature comes alive
With sound, movement, sights and smells
And I see for the first time
The thrumming, humming jungle, packed with life
Where I thought there were only pine trees

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