Forest Bathing, or shinrin-yoku

6 02 2022

The Japanese figured out, long ago, that simply walking through a forest, with all its sounds, scents, textures and shades of green had a very tangible calming effect on the human spirit. It’s even prescribed by doctors and termed “forest bathing”, or immersing oneself in the totality of nature.

Living in glorious BC, we have countless opportunities of experiencing the forest – typically in its many damp guises of rainforest – especially mossy, quiet and oh so very green!

Yesterday, Mrs E and I took the chance to wander around Derby Reach, near Langley. In the late 1850s it was proposed as the new capital of BC, and a squad of Royal Engineers was dispatched from Britain, via the colony in Victoria, to survey and begin laying out the new capital. Very quickly it was apparent that though the local Fort Langley was prosperous and well placed on the Fraser River for trade – particularly with Hawai’i – Derby Reach was not really suited for anything beyond the low key farmland it has remained ever since. A better location was surveyed in what is now New Westminster (colonists – particularly those of a military mind – are seldom imaginative when it comes to naming places). It is on an easily defensible hill and has many other advantages over the somewhat damp terrain of Derby Reach. Only later did the provincial capital revert to Victoria, on the island.

The woodland at Derby Reach is still bounded by a mixture of boggy land and farms, and is one of many regional parks in Super, Natural, British Columbia.


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One response

7 02 2022
Danny Watts

Agreed. There is no better feeling than a walk in the forest.

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