Back to your roots

It has been the first camping holiday of the year. I do indeed take a notebook everywhere with me but wish I could honestly claim to be better at taking inspiration from my surrounding environment on such trips. I have noticed I am more likely to get some impromptu scribbling done when I am undertaking the routine, on my train commute to work, for instance, than in a place one would expect to provide spiritual inspiration.

A few scrawled notes on my pad say: ‘path as common metaphor, female identity, fairy tales’; ‘earthy, damp mushroom smell: farinaceous? Look up dictyophora‘;  ‘Taste fresh, breathe sparkle’; ‘Green: fern, moss, pine, sage, juniper, spring, sap; the chromium; the camouflage; the cool…’

None of which gets me terribly far, in any practical, textual sense.

But the green, the relaxing, healing, saturated green. Much is being written lately, and said, about ‘forest bathing’, i.e. promoting a sense of wellbeing and relaxation by walking in, burying oneself in, absorbing, the forest. A term taken from the Japanese, shinrin yoku. It is a theory developed, I understand, in the 1980s, presumably a time where we noticed how distanced most of us had become from nature. An opportunity to calm the mind, be present, observe details. Time slows, along with the pulse rate. I am lucky to live steps away from wide green spaces, yet only access this at weekends because the weekdays are so full. That’s pretty silly, I know.

This weekend, we deliberately had few aims, except to leave the car parked up and go nowhere we couldn’t walk to. Not try to cram too much in.

Colours are concepts and experiences, not realities. In some languages green is a shade of blue, without a separate word (Korean, Thai, Vietnamese…); other tongues have multiple words for shades of green (is it true that IsiZulu has 39 words for ‘green’?), and yet others blur the boundaries (such as Gaelic languages) across green, blue, and grey. No matter, the sense of tranquillity and freshness it imparts are a universal balm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 thoughts on “Back to your roots

  1. Well I learned something today, ‘IsiZulu has 39 words for Green.’

    Like

    1. Or so I have read! Mind you, evidently there really are 50 “Eskimo” words for snow – at least in Yukip (ie in a group of a group of Eskimo-Aleut languages), so perhaps it’s true.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes inspiration isn’t necessary immediately. Taking time to relax and absorb can contribute grist for the mill or cultivate a spark later on.
    I was outside in my garden earlier today after missing a few days, and it’s fascinating to see what changes come on so quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s true, writing is so often a process of gestation rather than instant pay off.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks so serene and peaceful – looks like you had loads of fun

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We did – I do wonder how much longer the kids will be happy to go camping, but we’ve had good times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great. Always good to be next to nature

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I have heard that term but definitely feel the healing affects of walking in forests. Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, the forest in particular is so immersive. Thank you for reading.

      Like

  5. Fascinating, beautiful, serene… what a lovely write!

    Like

    1. Serene is just the word. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It depends on what you have been doing there, in the forest… 🕺🕺🕺
    But in general, walks helps to find more ideas. Works for me (often)

    Like

    1. Me too. I think research supports it, walking helps brain function and creativity. I remember reading the Bronte sisters would walk round and around the table, even if they didn’t have the freedom to go out alone, sparking off ideas.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Cool detail, I didn’t know that about Bronte. and yep, walking – helps 🙂 at least for me…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It was a beautifully crafted and balanced write up in honor of mother nature. Well, impressed by the quantum of your well improvised terms!

    Like

    1. To kind of you Roumissa. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for putting up a post like that 👍

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Relaxing is key but inspiration and/or ideas can appear anywhere. I remember a hook that I needed came to me in a parking lot on a hot afternoon. You never know where these things will appear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, hence the notebook. But I am sometimes a bit surprised that I seem to want to jot something down in the middle of a commute or domestic stuff rather than in a lovely setting. I guess the mind’s gears have been grinding…

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close