A Favourite Spot or Two
I can imagine that we all have our favourite spots. Probably a few. My current favourite is at the Arboretum in Ottawa. (yes, I am here again) There is a bit of a lookout where I can look across and down and see several different types of trees, water, a bridge, pathways with people walking, yet not too busy. Lots of green and the rustling of leaves. Bird song. Not exactly a Vista but perhaps a small v vista.
In front of the stone wall, at my spot, is a stone bench that follows the curve of the wall and I like to sit there. This is where my worries vanish for a while and I can take the time to think my thoughts, feel the sun on my face and listen to the birds sing. I often get to smile at a child scrambling up the hill or call out “bravo,” to an older adult who impressively runs up. Nothing dramatic goes on there but I may listen to a bee buzz or lazily watch an ant at work, or spot a butterfly, or simply observe – notice the changing scene – always different each time I show up and slow down. I have no need to identify anything but I often have the need to photograph the scene, so I do that. I bask in that spot with no cares in the world.
Campbell was one of the earlier proponents of having a special place and going there on a regular basis. A place where you allow yourself the privilege of simply enjoying your surroundings and having some daydreaming time. Outdoors in nature, is an obvious choice. However, it may also be a sunlit screened porch and a cozy chair at your cottage. A place where you can doze off and drift away for awhile. And sometimes when you “wake up,” so to speak, you have the answer to a quandary or a brand new idea – all without struggle.
The Japanese revere nature and in the 80’s they instituted something called Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing. This was created to counteract the adverse effects of the tech boom. Much has been written of the beneficial effects of time spent in the forest both physiological and psychological. Therefore, I included links in the notes to a couple of interesting articles. You don’t have to go to Japan to take advantage of this and you can make a point of taking a walk in your own forest, arboretum, or park, and take full advantage of the many benefits.
- Nature itself is the best physician. – Hippocrates
- Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life. – Rachel Carson
- I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. – John Burroughs
Trees, flowers, water, sky, clouds, and stars are all part of what bring me joy. I suppose I sound like a broken record but I love the tune and never grow tired of it. And I am sure that all of you love nature too but sometimes even the things we love, we forget to spend time on. So this is just a reminder, as I sing to the choir, not to miss the ever changing performance just outside our doors. It is good healing medicine for everything that ails us.
Note 1:) There are hundreds of articles on Shinrin-yoku from universities, the NIH, National Geographic, NPR, you name it. If you go searching there will be no shortage of reputable articles. But I chose one from the Ontario Parks, because it was simple, accessible and contains all kinds of links for those looking for both the art and the science of the health benefits of nature. Ontario Parks Service
Note 2:) Here in Canada. we are nudging up closer to relative freedom as our vaccination rates soar and our infection rates take a deep dive. This is still a slow process but once again there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Note 3:) Many thanks for stopping by and for all of your heartfelt comments last week. I am honoured to be here every Wednesday and to have you show up. With appreciation, warmest wishes and may you all enjoy your days. Trudy