Leo Dale

A walk in the forest

A walk in the forest

12 June 2018

A few weeks ago, on the spur of the moment, I decided to go for a stroll in a nature reserve; a beautiful forest reserve in which the natural habitat had been largely preserved… 

There were a multitude of tree species, ferns, plants of all sorts of varieties and a lake into which the rain water from a fairly heavy shower earlier that day drained from the surrounding hillsides.

After doing a fairly simple, circular walk of about 2km around the lake, and which took me less than one hour, I came back inspired, rejuvenated and refreshed. My mind felt clearer, my senses sharper and my appreciation of nature at a higher level.

It’s hard to appreciate, I know, that a simple stroll such as this could have that sort of effect; but it did. It was like doing meditation whilst walking, observing silently things which you can easily walk past such as fallen trees, beautiful plants of all sizes… and the gentle sway of the trees as the wind caressed them.

Funnily enough, I had read an article a week or so before my walk in which the author had advocated a walk in the forest to cleanse the soul, to get at peace with nature and to celebrate all of the things that an unspoiled forest can show you.

But, even though I had read this article, it was not in my mind when I started the walk—and not the motivation to do the walk either. In any event, by taking my time and pausing here and there, to was easy to discover for myself that all of these things the author suggested are true. I love walking in nature whenever I can, and delighting in the magnificence of the natural world, of which we are a part.

Think about it – the peace and quiet, the solitude. The way the trees and plants deaden sounds and noses—with the exception of the joyful chirping or calling of birds, or noises of other small animals. The magnificent trees reaching for the sky, surviving all weathers and living and growing for longer than we can imagine; offering shelter and homes for all sorts of insects and animals. And those trees that have rotted in part or fallen, lying still where they fell, and helping regenerate the rest of the forest, returning goodness to the earth.

The foliage, the vegetation – huge ferns moving in the gentle breezes; signs of growth everywhere, small shoots and unfurled leaves; a carpet on the forest floor of old leaves and branches reminding us of the perpetual cycle of life. Life is everywhere.

Co-existence of plants and animals in relative harmony, relatively undisturbed by humans, and oblivious to the rest of the world, outside of the paradise they call home.

Afterwards, I realised that my walk in the forest and the things I saw and enjoyed was a metaphor for life; for the on-going cycle of life…and how we all need to take time out and appreciate what is going on around us—and appreciate how wonderful the world is, and how we have to do our best to look after it.



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Leo Dale

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