There is something dark about the forests during winter here. The spruce is shadow, and paths are faint. I remember that my mother tied a bell around my neck so she could always trace me by its knell. The forest seemed so vast, a shadow clinging, crouching like a bear; preparing to devour us. The spruces are its jaws, its roots are claws. Growing always growing, revenging axe and saw. In winter forest is my beast.
spider webs, my old mittens shredded by this rain
But then comes spring and verdant birches billow over forest anemones. When light return the forest purrs. The air is honey and with a song of blackbirds she becomes a small domestic cat. As I bathe in leaves and needles I listen to the stories only trees can tell. An aging oak tells me how his acorns kept a squirrel safe and a pine tree tells me how she’s waiting for a family of robins that will nest. When spring has come the forest is my bride.
two pigeons cooing at the face of dawn
Today Toni hosts haibun Monday at dVerse, the theme is Forest Bathing. In 1980, the Japanese began a type of healing/meditation/relaxation process called shinrin-yoku (森林浴) or literally, forest bathing. This has become a recognized health benefit in Japan and other countries. I also made a small experiment with one-line haiku, I know it’s not orthodox but I tried to keep it traditional in terms of theme and presence.
March 5, 2017