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!

Soul Therapy


Gentle rain wanderings offer ethereal “Be still and know that I am God” soul therapy. Here’s a couple “Just walking in the rain” therapy scenes that soothed my soul today. I M Blessed . . . May U B 2 

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

Chugach Range – Chickaloon, AK

Fish Lake – Chickaloon, AK

Solitude of Silence


Everyone has a special place of comfort, peace and inner healing their soul calls home. What’s yours?

Living in Alaska, where this morning the temperature begins another day of residence below zero, it’s a question I’ve often been asked, and now sit here pondering before a blazing wood stove.

A myriad of reasons flash to mind . . . the raw, rugged, vast stretches of wilderness . . . the majesty of snow-capped mountain sunrises, and brilliant ocean sunsets . . . abundant, really wild wildlife . . . etc., etc., etc.

Long summer’s calm water’s reflections –  longer winter’s frozen landscapes . . . clouds floating on blue skies above – purple fireweed sprouting from the earth below . . . mountain storm rainbows – massive glacier azure-blue ice . . .  falling snowflakes. Uncluttered by civilization’s  burden of stressful busyness, Creation survives and thrives in the quiet, unhurried power of Silence.  

It’s the Last Frontier’s immense SOS . . . Solitude of Silence . . . that soothes and heals my inner being, soul therapy at its best! For many Alaska is a bucket-list tourist destination. For me it’s the place my soul calls home, until He calls me Home.

 Albert Einstein once said,”Look deeper into nature and you will understand everything better.” Jesus said it even better . . . “Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

Here’s a couple SOS scenes from yesterday’s wilderness wander along the banks of the Matanuska River.

Be still . . . Be Blessed

Frozen Reflections
Frigid Flows

Friluftsliv


SAD . . . Seasonal Affective Disorder is attributed to the long, cold, dark days of winter. Yet, Scandinavian countries, where cold-dark thirty resides for 5 months each year, are consistently ranked among the happiest countries . . . Why?

Friluftsliv – “free air life” – the mood-boosting Nordic concept of connecting with nature; breathing in fresh, frigid air; and embracing the beauty and simplicity of nature in the great outdoors. Promoting spiritual and physical well-being, it was popularized by Norwegian playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen in the 1850s.

As a far-eastern Scandinavian (AKA Alaskan), I can attest this icily inspiring therapy works!  . . . though some may claim I’m merely delusional 😊.

But I don’t have the parkas, snow boots, scarves ,mittens, long-johns, etc. to endure such harsh winter conditions.” . . . no attire excuses! . . . as my Swedish heritage says (my Ancestry profile claims I’m 8% Swedish), “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes.”

 Soooooo . . . suit-up and get out there to enjoy some uplifting 3-F activity . . . Freezing, Frolicking, Fun 😊.

Here’s a few pics from Freddy’s refreshing, 22 degree, Friluftsliv day.

They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty – and I will proclaim your great deeds.”

Psalm 145:5

I M Blessed . . . May U B 2

Chugach Range
King Mountain
Castle Mountain Mirror
Spruce Grouse

Soul Therapy Recipe


Soul Therapy Recipe
 

Ingredients and Directions

1. One friend with a boat.

2. Launch in Prince William Sound on calm seas.

Prince William Sound, Alaska

3. Stir in a vast wilderness of towering mountains and massive glaciers.

Chugach Mountain Range
Glacial Majesty
Sea Otter

4. Warm softly all day with sunshine.

5. Harvest a bounty of shrimp and fish from cool, blue waters shared by sea otters.

Alaskan Prawns
Ling Cod

6. Decorate with an ocean sunset’s splendor.

Sunset Splendor

7. Garnish with a billion stars blazing the heavens.

8. Rock softly to sleep on gentle waves.

                    “It is well with my soul”

                    I M Blessed. May U B 2                               
                                            
Keep Looking Up . . . His best is yet to come!