See the Forest from the Trees – Wisdom lies Deep in the Northern Forests | Kitty's Corner
In the endless forests, that cover 70% of the Nordic countries, like a massive green blanket, lies an invaluable key to a very powerful healing. In Japan they call it “Shinrin Yoku”, which means taking back the forest atmosphere. They are organized walks in the forests. It has been scientifically proven to have incredible preventive health and healing benefits. In the North it hasn´t got a name yet, since walking in the forest is an elementary part of Nordic living, but let’s call it “Forest Wisdom” and it is free for everyone to be discovered.
What could these mysterious, ancient forests of the North offer for a visitor like you? You might feel that forests are dark and scary places. On the contrary. The beauty of the green colors, the lovely smells and the bird song reduce your stress. Go ahead. Cry, laugh, sing and shout. No one is judging you there.
The forest welcomes you. Maybe you would enjoy the small meadow of daisies, inside a thick pine forest as a perfect meditation place or maybe you want to use the ancient virgin forest as your gym. The forest is a healing temple and part of a deep nature connection that you can be wired to.
In the North, you have the right to enjoy even the most privately owned forests, pick berries, mushrooms and flowers. Taste them. You will experience a true antioxidant explosion and it doesn´t get more organic than this. It can also provide you medicine. But know what you pick. The poison can be either healing or deadly, depending how you use it.
The more you spend time in the forest you will learn to read its signs. You want to learn to predict the seasonal changes? Easy. For example if the rowan tree is heavy with berries, it means a cold and harsh winter is coming, because the birds need to storage more food. Or if you feel lost, find an ant’s nest and use it as a compass, since the nest lies always on the South side of a tree and moss always grows on the North side of stones.
Enter the woods with respect. According to the Nordic wisdom forests are sacred places. Next time you come across a birch, you will no longer see a snow white tree, but a tree of life that links the two worlds together. Its roots are in the Underworld. The Gods live in its crown and the celestial sphere opens under the crown where the orbs circulate through the branches. Make a small cut in the bark of the birch. The birch sap is excellent for detoxification.
Keep in mind that the forest is the land of the animals. It´s their home. You are just a visitor there. But they will help you to make your way in the forest easier. When your brain starts to get used to the terrain, suddenly the very narrow, almost invisible animal paths become visible.
A forest is deeply wise. It lives in a different time scale than humans, with even a spruce as old as 9 500 years in Sweden. The forest communicates through a “wood wide web” of soil fungi that connects all the vegetation to a huge network, which shares an enormous amount of information all across the woods. The forest is wise and this eternal wisdom can have dramatic impacts on your wellbeing. But first you just have to learn to listen to it and to understand it.
This article is a part of "Kittys corner" series written by Helena "Kitty" Ihamuotila. Kitty is a Finland-based writer and creative who has worked in the fields of lifestyle, fashion, culture and arts. With Kitty we'll deep dive to Finnish culture and habits, as well as lifestyle and beauty.