Forest Bathing

For the past several years the Great Smoky Mountains has been America’s most visited National Park. Travelers come from all over the world to enjoy Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg’s endless venue of entertainment attractions, and to explore one of Mother Nature’s premier wonders . . . next to Alaska of course 😊

Living here makes October my most labor-intensive month. Local residents, bedecked in vibrant colors, descend on our digs up here on the mountain > down in the ‘holler’ > over the ‘crick’ . . .

LEAVES! . . . lotsa’ and lotsa’ LEAVES! . . . zillions of billions of LEAVES!

My best Fall friend is only 3 feet tall. Each morning we meet up to remove the leaves that have smothered our 1/10th mile, 40-degree slope driveway since the day before. To neglect this chore would jeopardize us being able to drive up out of the ‘holler’ to the gravel road leading to civilization . . . I love my leaf blower! 😊

After reclaiming our driveway today, I took a  woods wander along the ‘crick’ for some shinrin-yoku . . . ‘forest bathing’. The Japanese coined this term to describe the practice of getting into the woods for body and mind renewal. I’m not Japanese, but it works for this ole ‘Kraut’!

Studies have shown just three days and two nights in a wooded place increase the immune system functions that boost feelings of well-being for up to seven days. This includes increased awe, greater relaxation, restored attention, and boosted vitality. Among the health benefits are enhanced immunity, reduced cardiovascular disease, fewer migraines, and lowered anxiety. The same three days in a built environment has no such effect.

Sooooooo . . . while leaf-blowing is not one of my favorite activities, I always look forward to my ‘forest baths’ from whence they came . . . and I don’t even have to get wet 😊. Here’s a shinrin-yoku ‘modern art’ pic from today.

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sin for joy.”

Psalm 22:9

Keep Looking Up . . . His Best is Yet to Come!

5 thoughts on “Forest Bathing

  1. Great! . . . just remember to bring the bear spray .Our local bruins seem to have developed some anger management problems.

    Last night the they pulled down and tore up the flag on the carport; snapped a branch off an ornamental tree; and chewed on one of my gamecams. The last would make a good Halloween clip. At least the bobcat, that also made an appearance, didn’t mark our stream-side bench . . . ‘forest bathing’ at its best up here on the mountain > down in the ‘holler’ > over the ‘crick’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this idea of forest bathing. For 3 days/2 nights, it won’t be much of a problem for me and my kids to come visit, right? 😉 Thanks for getting the driveway ready for us!


  3. I would like a leaf blower. Most of the mess in my driveway is pine needles, but they get thick when the wind blows. Funny that the same energy that put them in the drive is the best for getting them off! Right now I gotta creat that push with my old fashioned broom. Hey- all those good benefits that come from the wooded areas… do you have to stay out there for 3 days and 2 nights? Or just spend a few hours at at time? My house is in the forest, and I feel like my stress is calmed just by looking out the window. If I could tell my daughters their migraines would be relieved here, they might just move closer! Haha!


  4. I can relate! (We) leaf blower & I have spent the better part of two days together and only covered the front yard. Fortunately I have a never ending cliff in the back to which we can fill up one giant Leaf bag at a time and deposit. Someday I might have created a level area to walk through.


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