April 24th, 2020: Being Together & Apart

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”  – John Muir

Screen Shot 2021-10-04 at 9.40.17 PM

Hello Friends. How are you doing out there? Are you finding ways to stay steady and healthy? Are there practices, rituals, or tactics you’ve developed to feel a sense of abundance over scarcity; freedom within your confinement; joy alongside fear and anxiety?

I thought when physical distancing became enforced that my social sojourns in the woods would have to come to an end, and, like the rest of the world, went virtual, in what I thought would be a piss poor version of the real forest therapy deal. The initial virtual versions of my forest therapy walks were an attempt to follow through on some pre-pandemic commitments, but to my great surprise my first online experience was one of the most memorable nature connections I’ve ever had. It included six walkers who called in from Mexico, England, Germany, Sweden, and the United States. They spent two hours breathing with me and gazing out at the greater world. It was wild to hear Mexican ocean waves and Scandinavian winds in the same soundscape, to simultaneous wander by the refugee camps of Berlin and the cherry blossoms on the National Mall. For the first time, I felt a sense of the planet as a single organism, expressing itself in innumerable, immutable iteration. My own species, the narrator, was no longer on the God mic, but now quiet, one step removed, as if observing from the wings, as the beauty of spring awakening took center stage. This is all a very difficult thing to express in words, and is much easier felt through the senses, so I’ve decided to keep hosting these walks online as long as physical distancing continues. I’d love to invite you to join me and to add your chapter of the world, along with your insights. Perhaps we might all begin to understand together a little something about what it means to be alive in this moment.

Hope to see some of you soon. With much love! – Anisa