Forest as Nourishing Presence

The groves were God’s first temples.
~ William Cullen Bryant, A Forest Hymn
November 15, 2009
There is nothing quite like the experience of walking in a lush forest, of being surrounded by a rich array of green and flowers, of ancient redwoods and fecund red soil wherever your eyes can see. I don’t know about you, but I don’t get the opportunity often enough to spend time taking in the nourishing presence of a forest, which is why I always appreciate a written passage that takes me into the experience…..
“As I headed farther into the forest, I could no longer hear the sounds of the cars or smell their fumes. I breathed in the pure wonderful air. It tasted sweet on my tongue. Everywhere I turned, there was life whether I could see, smell, hear, taste, or touch it or not. For the first time, I really felt what it was like to be alive, to feel the connection of all life and its inherent truth – not the truth that is taught to us by so-called scientists or politicians or other human beings, but the truth that exists within Creation.
The energy hit me in a wave. Gripped by the spirit of the forest, I dropped to my knees and began to sob. I sank my fingers into the layer of duff, which smelled so sweet and so rich and so full of life, then lay my face down and breathed it in. Surrounded by these huge ancient giants, I felt the film covering my senses from the imbalance of our fast-paced, technologically dependent society melt away. I could feel my whole being bursting forth into new life in this majestic cathedral. I sat and cried for a long time. Finally, the tears turned into joy and the joy turned to mirth, and I sat and laughed at the beauty of it all.”

 

~ Julian Butterfly Hill
I am just now realizing that I have chosen this forest theme today out of a deep yearning, because I simply MUST head up the coast within the next week or so for some solitary, enriching time in the forest groves and streams that fill the Big Sur coastline. I’ve been so busy of late with a convergence of serving many clients’ needs mixed with the launch of the new Sacred Life Leadership program. I need to give myself the restorative gift of surrendering to the exquisite nourishment that the land always provides…….
FOREST PATH
by John Millar
Walk slowly
Along the path
In the forest
By the lake
Listen
To the world
As you tread
On bare earth
Along the forest path
Let your body breathe
Into its own
Sunrise of joy
Knowing that
It’s not alone
Feel the crickets’ ratchet
Your footsteps closer
And then fall silent
As they quietly drift by
A pileated woodpecker
Hammers and shrieks
From a big-leaf maple
While prickly sculpin
Swim silently across
The deaf lake bottom
The world is real inside
And joins the forest
That surrounds me
Inside and outside
Never were separate
Everything here belongs
The land listens
Patiently waiting
To dance with us
To join us in laughter
And to carry us through tears
But it can also let us pass
In silence
Blind to its miracle
May you be blessed in opening to your own receiving and nourishment as you traverse your very full life,
Gavin

1109 Forest Path

The groves were God’s first temples.

~ William Cullen Bryant, A Forest Hymn

There is nothing quite like the experience of walking in a lush forest, of being surrounded by a rich array of green and flowers, of ancient redwoods and fecund red soil wherever your eyes can see. I don’t know about you, but I don’t get the opportunity often enough to spend time taking in the nourishing presence of a forest, which is why I always appreciate a written passage that takes me into the experience…..

“As I headed farther into the forest, I could no longer hear the sounds of the cars or smell their fumes. I breathed in the pure wonderful air. It tasted sweet on my tongue. Everywhere I turned, there was life whether I could see, smell, hear, taste, or touch it or not. For the first time, I really felt what it was like to be alive, to feel the connection of all life and its inherent truth – not the truth that is taught to us by so-called scientists or politicians or other human beings, but the truth that exists within Creation.

The energy hit me in a wave. Gripped by the spirit of the forest, I dropped to my knees and began to sob. I sank my fingers into the layer of duff, which smelled so sweet and so rich and so full of life, then lay my face down and breathed it in. Surrounded by these huge ancient giants, I felt the film covering my senses from the imbalance of our fast-paced, technologically dependent society melt away. I could feel my whole being bursting forth into new life in this majestic cathedral. I sat and cried for a long time. Finally, the tears turned into joy and the joy turned to mirth, and I sat and laughed at the beauty of it all.”

~ Julian Butterfly Hill

I am just now realizing that I have chosen this forest theme today out of a deep yearning, because I simply MUST head up the coast within the next week or so for some solitary, enriching time in the forest groves and streams that fill the Big Sur coastline. I’ve been so busy of late with a convergence of serving many clients’ needs mixed with the launch of the new Sacred Life Leadership program. I need to give myself the restorative gift of surrendering to the exquisite nourishment that the land always provides…….

FOREST PATH

by John Millar


Walk slowly

Along the path

In the forest

By the lake


Listen

To the world

As you tread

On bare earth

Along the forest path


Let your body breathe

Into its own

Sunrise of joy

Knowing that

It’s not alone


Feel the crickets’ ratchet

Your footsteps closer

And then fall silent

As they quietly drift by


A pileated woodpecker

Hammers and shrieks

From a big-leaf maple

While prickly sculpin

Swim silently across

The deaf lake bottom


The world is real inside

And joins the forest

That surrounds me

Inside and outside

Never were separate

Everything here belongs


The land listens

Patiently waiting

To dance with us

To join us in laughter

And to carry us through tears

But it can also let us pass

In silence

Blind to its miracle

May you be blessed in opening to your own receiving and nourishment as you traverse your very full life,

Gavin

facebook gavin fryetwitter gavin frye coachgavin frye linkedinrss gavin frye

Your Comments

  1. Gavin – I stumbled upon your site when searching for a poem by David Whyte.
    I just wanted to thank you for the profound richness you share through poetry – quote – your own reflections/writings.
    I meant to take just a few moments to locate David’s poem – and now – an hour later – I am emerging from your site – utterly nourished and inspired.
    I use poetry in my counseling practice and am always delighted to find kindred souls.
    I’m wondering if you have stopped posting – as this is the most recent post and it is dated 11.29.09.
    I wish you well – and thank you, thank you, thank you – for making my day.

Your Comments

*