Scientists tell us that time spent in nature can make us happier, more creative and less stressed. In Japan, forest bathing has become an integral part of preventive health care and healing.
Some doctors in the West too are now giving patients the simple prescription of taking a walk in a park or trekking down a forest path. The worst perhaps that could happen is that we might get some much-needed exercise.
We bathe in the forest atmosphere, taking it in through our senses. Science discovers and physicians prescribe. There are health benefits to body, mind and soul.
Ancient cathedrals were created to mimic in some ways the mystery and wonder of the forest, the mystery and wonder of nature — of the numinous, the Holy, the Creator.
Celtic Christians would say that ‘Bidden or not bidden, God is present.’ They spoke too of ’thin places.’ God is everywhere present, for in God we ‘live and move and have our being.’ But in some places it seems that God’s presence is even more real.
Of course Christians do not live merely by their senses and physical ways of apprehension of the Holy, but also by faith — faith in unseen things, unseen but nonetheless real. And yet we live in a real world - of stuff, of bodies, of the cut of rocks and the rill of forests.
The Real Presence of the Almighty is key. Everywhere present, but mostly we do not see - either with our physical sight or the eyes of our understanding and the sight that only faith can bring to light — to in fact see the Light. We may discover God though, or perhaps more rightly, God will discover us, when we take the Presence seriously, and begin to study and read more diligently the Book of Creation and the Book of Revelation (i.e. Scripture)
By faith we believe that God exists and that God is a Reward-er of those who seek God. A simple walk in the forest may be where we first begin a new or renewed spiritual Journey.
Music - Eric Whitacre Choir via Spitfire Audio - Original Composition: Laurie Barber
Video - Laurie Barber, Storyblocks video clips