A Forest in the Desert

Yesterday, during #MondayBlogs, I was reading a post by Colleen Story on Forest Bathing. I had never heard the term before, but loved the immersion it called to mind.

I live in an odd spot for forest bathing. When I hike or walk or run, towering palm trees are casting their slender shadows before my feet. Or a palo verde might be dropping yellow flowers over a trail ahead of me. When rain is somewhere on the horizon, the creosote bushes open their leaves and release a unique perfume that has come to mean rainfall to me. I can feel my entire mood lift when the creosote are strong.

The catch to all of this is that it is nearly impossible to enjoy the desert wilderness during the summer months. Even in small oases that are scattered in the Indian Canyons, where the palm trees nearly block the sun, the hundred degree temperatures sap my energy.

But when winter descends for most of my neighbors, I can connect with that pulse that beats through the Earth, out of doors, and surrounded by our local version of a forest.

When the story is stuck, I can get it “unstuck” on a hike to the Cross. When I need to come back to reality, a quick walk along the base of the younger mountains, with their shaggy-necked palm trees will bring me back to the here and now.

And as summer begins its stifling progress, we can find our way to the pine trees to forest bathe in a cooler space.

Good health and blessings to you all.

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