SHINRIN-YOKU: FOREST BATHING
by Shirley McPhillips, Dumont, NJ
Some days you need to hide
from possibility, step barefoot
under a green cathedral of trees,
breathe their essential oils.
Feel the elixir dissolve in your blood
like the slow river of forgetfulness.
Catch the lilt in the voice of the wind.
Plant your feet in the earth,
fuse with a gnarl of roots
where the spirit meets the bone.
At ease in the air, pick up a rock,
squeeze into it the hard news of the day.
Drop it deep into the vernal pond,
unsung among the bells and peeps
of the wood frog.
Turn your face to the sky.
Stand, blinking in the nearly audible light.
Let the clouds remind you
that all things join and separate,
that what you need will find you.