For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, Spring has officially arrived.

It’s that time of year when nature beckons for us to come outside, walk barefoot on the land, lay on the ground, smell the flowers, talk to the birds.

The Japanese term for spending time in nature is shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing. Studies have shown that devoting a few hours to lingering in nature generates enormous physcical, emotional and spiritual health benefits. And Spring is the perfect time for forest bathing.

Phelps Lake is one of my favorite spots in Wyoming’s Teton National Park. Actually it’s one of my favorite nature spots in the world.

The easy 2-mile hike to the lake wanders over loud, fast- moving cold rivers, through pine and aspen forest on the edge of open meadows. Black-capped chickadees welcome spring with song, and wide-cheeked marmots watch from sun baked rocks as I pass by.

When I’m at the lake, lying down on a half-submerged boulder, my heart is ripped wide open. It’s the glassy stillness of the water, the reflection of granite mountain peaks,
and the exquisite silence that brings me to tears each time I visit.

saving wild photos

Terry Tempest Williams even wrote a poem about ‘my place’ called A Meditation on Phelps Lake.

Here’s an excerpt:

Wind breaks through pines.

Light animates granite.

An eagle soars – its shadow crosses over us.

All life is intertwined.

We recognize the soul of the land as our own.”

 

We all need a place in nature that changes us just for having been there. A place where we “recognize the soul of the land as our own.” We all need forest baths, preferably on a daily basis.

If you don’t already know of a place in nature that inspires you, touches you, and beckons you, search for that place this Spring, and then visit it as often as you can, all year long.

If you already know ‘your place’, tell me about it in the comments below.

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5 Replies to “Where is Your Nature Place?”

  1. I have a log home in the Hocking Hills of OH built on a hill so I can see nobody as its surrounded by trees and secluded. Although I would love to have a wonderful spot like you mentioned in Wyoming, I can travel to this place in an hour’s time when I need to have my nature fix. I too have been in those inspiring modes while down there looking at the trees and hearing the birds, I felt I met God there. Oh and also, Jane Goodall and Carole Noone are a couple of my all-time favorite heroes.

  2. Shelly, your log home sounds like a perfect ‘place’ and I especially love what you say about meeting God there. I often have that feeling too when I am in nature. Thanks for commenting,it’s lovely to hear from you.

  3. Phelps Lake is one of my favorite spots, too. Sometimes, I make a day camp there with my lunch, journal, knitting, and book. Meet you at the trailhead this summer, Lori, and we can hike all around the lake.

  4. I’m going to grand teton in June staying at signal mountain lodge. Soooo looking forward to getting a big dose of nature while there…

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