My daughter Ellen and her husband moved from South London to Guildford in Surrey just before Christmas and, as she was working over the holiday, in between unpacking all their worldly goods, we agreed on a date in February for my first visit to their new home. My mother’s death in January and her funeral in February coincided with my visit and so we had some much needed mother and daughter time to help us cope with the loss.
I hadn’t realised how close to the Surrey Downs Ellen’s new home was. Although the wind was howling and rain was pouring down, we dressed up warm and waterproofed to take her two Jack Russell terriers for a long walk. Only a street and a lane away suburbia opened up on the top of a hill overlooking Pewley Down. Once off their leads, the dogs ran on ahead while I breathed in the air and took in a landscape of black silhouettes of trees, mist rising above them, green fields stretched out below my feet, brown stubbly fields and dark, dripping woods, full of towering trees, stumps, ferns, pine cones and old leaves, with their comforting mulchy scent. And so we walked and talked.
trees are still naked
memories and sorrow drip
Kim M. Russell, 2017
Toni aka Kanzen Sakura (www.kanzensakura.wordpress.com) has brought us the prompt for this session of Haibun Monday.
She tells us that, In 1980, the Japanese began a type of healing/meditation/ relaxation process called shinrin-yoku (森林浴): literally forest bathing. This has become a recognized health benefit in Japan and other countries, whereby you immerse yourself in the forest, breathing in the benefits of such volatile substances as a-Pinene and Limonene. One simply visits the forest and strolls leisurely, breathing in the benefits of the volatile oils. It also is relaxing. Of course, one does not take cell phones, tablets, or books or other things that can distract one.
Toni says that another way is to simply immerse oneself in nature and asks when was the last time we took a long walk in a forest, a field, a park or along the shores of a lake or beach; planted bulbs or seeds, took a sail on the water (beach or lake), sat under a tree and napped.
Today, Toni would like us to write a haibun (one – three tight paragraphs) ending with a haiku (seasonal and cutting words used to denote the season and to distinguish between the two parts of a haiku) about the last time we totally immersed ourselves in nature.