Green bathing (like forest bathing, but in fields instead of the woods)

I was stood on a wooden pathway, surrounded by green – trees, grass, fields beyond – and I turned to my friend, Clare.

“I had dreams of being somewhere like this, during the lockdowns,” I said, “surrounded by green.”

“It’s called forest bathing,” she said. “It’s a practice that started in Japan.”

And I realised my deep desire for nature – and not just the lone tree and small lawn in my garden but vast, uninterrupted swathes of green – was in fact a universal need.

In all the busy-ness of life, surrounded by screens and buildings and noise and pollution, we sometimes need to be fully immersed in nature.

But during the lockdowns, I couldn’t be. Well, not easily.

I was living in a terrace house in London, with any vast green space a drive away.

However, once the lockdowns eased, I couldn’t let go of this green dream.

I wanted to be surrounded by trees, fields and meadows.

So this, teamed with a few other things, got us planning a life change; a move from London to Somerset.

And now, as the spring flowers bloom and the crops are pushing through, I’m here.

Living on the edge of a town, backing onto fields and meadows.

Each morning, I run down the field and have a panoramic view of GREEN.

It’s just as calming and grounding as I’d hoped it would be.

I love that the Japanese named this experience shinrin-yoku (‘forest bathing’) in the 1980s.

And that we’re being encouraged to spend more time in nature.

I have a friend training in eco-therapy.

What a positive re-framing, or reclaiming, of what would once have been a natural part of human existence.

Do you spend time forest bathing, or stood surrounded by green?