Coastal Forest, Oregon

A few months back, Beth and I, along with many others we know and care for, dealt with a tragic event at work that shook our entire community to its core. Grief-stricken and shell-shocked, we both jumped at the first available chance to retreat as far away as possible to clear our minds. We ended up on the Oregon coast, and this cold and misty old-growth forest was the first place we set foot on our trip.

I recently read about the Japanese term Shinrin-yoku which essentially translates to “forest bathing” and not just in the sense that a forest can offer the obvious psychological therapy, but that it also has been clinically proven to provide distinct physiological relief to the human body due to its unique atmospheric contents. I believe it.

Though I’m not sure we’ll ever truly be healed from the event that affected so many us, I’ll always be grateful for the moments we spent in the forest on this day, wrapped in its embrace.