Forest-Bathing: Alive In The Moment…

Forest-Bathing: Alive In The Moment

A robin’s hypnotic dance steps; two hops forward, one back, peck at the earth.  Repeat.  The ground-feeding bird is outside the bird sanctuary’s chain-link fence surrounding the feeders, un-selfconscious of my presence.  Dozens of blackbirds, trapeze artists, balance on tree limbs overhead.  One turns its head left, then right, preens her chest.  Another, must have been an introverted writer in another life, observing quietly, bobbing his head to and fro. A gymnast chickadee stretches delicately for a dangling rose hip, flits away.  More blackbirds step, step, peck for food.

The heavy rain has stopped half an hour ago.  The feeders, some hanging and some standing stork-like on one legged poles, are rife with more bird life:  small and large.  An elaborate court dance ensues, birds piroetting for seeds, then retreating.

Fallen tree limbs lie broken from the muscle-bound winds, the smell of loss rises from decaying leaves.  Grasses hunch beaten downward.  The tempestuous waves of the sea lash furiously back on themselves.  Four wood ducks ride their fury.  A lone snow boot squats shore-side.

The furious wind chills my cheeks, making them cave in.  A siren yowls urgently in the distance.  My earlobes ache from the cold.  I will my feet back to the outside world.  Twittering bird song lingers as I pass the feeder.  A “twoot, twoot,” signals my passage.


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Elaine Woo


Elaine Woo works at living in the present. Through her writing, artwork, and libretto, she observes the tides of life.…

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