When You’re Forest Bathing, You’re Never Alone

How Was Forest Bathing?

Welcome, Chicory. (Photo by Erik Assadourian)

Next time I’m asked
“How did your forest bathing session go?”
I’ll say, ‘Wow, it was so full!’
Chicory was there. And thistle too.
Queen Anne graced us with her presence.
As did many subjects whose name I never knew.
Cricket stopped by, and around us, a hawk flew.

The crows called us to order.
And the mourning doves led us in chant.
The grasses hummed along as well.
Spider greeted us as we passed.
But was too busy to join our class.

Then we sat and talked with an elder oak,
Ancient and gnarled.
And asked him if he were ready to die.
After we exchanged niceties, of course.

Gaia Save the Queen. (Photo by Erik Assadourian)

He stood silent a while then finally replied.
“Is anyone ever ready to go?”
But by his manner, I knew that he was.

The class ended more quickly than it began
As the birds, and trees, grasses, and bees
All had things to do and places to be.

But for a moment they joined my class
And taught me far more than I taught them.

“So you were alone?” I’m now asked.
And this time, I simply say, “No.”

You’re Never Alone

I wrote the above poem after leading a forest bathing session where nobody came. Although that turned out to be untrue. Two humans joined, but went to the wrong spot. But that didn’t assuage the sadness and self-doubt for the first fifteen minutes while I waited, hoping for someone to come. No one did, which opened me to realize that I wasn’t alone at all, but had the company of countless other forest bathers. I may have overlooked them, with my anthropocentric mind, but sitting alone waiting made me realize how many had come already and how soothing their presence was, so I proceeded to conduct the class and encountered many beings as I did.

This is an important reminder to all Gaian Guild leaders, and really, anyone else trying to start something new: even when no one comes, you’re not alone. We are always in the presence of countless others—from those living inside us, alongside us, and most importantly to the great being, Gaia, who we live within and are part of.

Go with Gaia,


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3 Responses

  1. Bart+Everson

    Yes, yes, yes. So many times I have been the sole human who shows up for a Gaian Guild meeting here in New Orleans — and many other sorts of meetings over the years as well. It’s very good to remember that Gaians are never truly alone. No matter where we go, we walk with Gaia.

  2. Meg.

    I like that you included “those living inside us” because while I was searching for a spiritual practice for a long time, it was becoming interested in the human microbiomes that brought me to more Earth focused practices, and then eventually to this very website. It also lead to me learning about parasite conservation which alongside Gaianism has helped me with my phobia of parasites greatly.

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