Saturday, June 1, was National Trails Day and I was determined to get out for a hike on Mt. Tam. I intended to meet up with a group for a “forest bathing” hike. Although I don’t know exactly how that works, I do know there’s no shedding of clothes involved and no actual bathing. Rather, it’s the principal of immersing oneself in the forest—or another natural setting—as a meditative, restorative practice.
As I was driving to the meeting spot, I took a wrong turn and ended up at a different trailhead altogether. No matter. A solitary hike was fine with me. And it was absolutely beautiful. The meadow at the trailhead was alive with tiny butterflies, one of which finally landed long enough for me to snap a photo.
Mindful that I was supposed to be bathing in the majesty of nature, I took my time, noticing the wildflowers, the ferns, the varying music as the creek eddied and flowed beneath a leafy canopy. I emerged back at my car fully energized.
We residents of the Bay Area are so fortunate to have an abundance of natural green spaces preserved amid the booming metropolis. But even if it’s in a city park or your own backyard, everyone can steep themselves in the natural world once in a while.