three books

three books

Friday, 21 February 2014


I know that some people would have us believe that synchronicity is nothing more than random events linked in our minds by the simple fact that we notice them. We tune in to a particular frequency based on expectation. Like when you buy a new car, maybe a Volkswagen, and suddenly you see bloody Punch Buggies everywhere.
Others would have us believe that there is some kind of universal magic involved in aligning elements and/or events either in our favor or against as defined by their nature.
I won't pretend to know one way or the other but neither do I mind, I just really find them interesting and this was one I just have to share.
The Boo and I were walking one afternoon in our second favorite of the small parks in what Boo considers his 'hood'. It is only about a mile south of our place so we go there often in good weather - less so in bad as it tends to turn into a boggy mess when it rains. One of the reasons I favor it in the summertime particularly is because, while trees are sparse in the centre, one end has a dense population of huge old pine trees which create a blissfully cool and peaceful resting spot. We always sit for a few moments on a little stone stairway in the deep shade and refresh ourselves before we face the trek home. That day we angled across to our accustomed spot and crap! At least five of the giants had been removed and the entire area was bathed in light. The little stone steps looked utterly forlorn, squinting in the unaccustomed sunshine.
It isn't often that you'll hear me complaining about too much sun anywhere on this very wet coast but I felt such a terrible sense of loss I almost cried and I wandered on home wondering why this little copse of trees had been so terribly important to me.
Back home I made some lunch and picked up the book I have been reading, "The Sweetness of a Simple Life", by Diana Beresford-Kroeger. I opened at the page where she was describing the health benefits of the Japanese practice of "Shinrin-yoku" or "Forest Bathing". Essentially this is the simple practice of relaxing in a forested area and breathing in the volatile substances naturally emitted by the trees. Free aromatherapy!
I guess I have always known that trees benefit our ecosystem in a wide variety of ways and all air breathing beings especially by taking all our nasty carbon junk and giving back beautiful, pure oxygen. I also know that it is hard to be unhappy when you have leisurely spent time among trees but I confess to my total ignorance of the mechanics of these "aerosols" that I have enjoyed bathing in all my life. To quote Ms.B-K, "many of these biochemical are unusual in their physical chemistry: they can be easily carried abo ut in humid air, but they will not dissolve in it..." "All of them are able to penetrate the central nervous system of the human body and the regulatory mechanism of the brain."
She goes on at some length about the subject but the bottom line is that every kind of tree emits their own particular aerosols and all of them are good for humans. Some calm our nervous systems and enhance our immune systems and some, like my giant pines, even help us to think with more clarity.
So, while I am far too late to save that little area of respite I now know why it was and is so very important to me and to everyone living in large cities to have these areas available to us and to make use of them at every available moment. I will be petitioning the city to replant those trees and many, many more. If you have a moment maybe you could send a request to your city officials also, wherever you are and, if you have a patch of dirt, please, plant a tree!


  1. Sue, Funny that you should post about forest smells. We got a good dose of snow as soon as my hubby left town for a week, and we had to park both cars up by the road. Hiking up the road in the sunny and crisp morning, I was struck by the fragrance of the surrounding forest. I used to work in forestry and am accustomed to many forest smells (and how different forests smell differently), but the odor was so pleasantly sweet and unexpected that it stopped me in my tracks. I hope your copse gets replanted, but if not, I'll bet Mother Nature finds her own way to regenerate your little woods.

    1. No shortage of trees in your neck of the woods I'm sure. I'm happy that you savour them still.

  2. Oh I can so understand your grief about the lost of these trees! In my old neighborhoud the cut of a lot large trees to build a parking place, as they did it I nearly cried, not only for me and other humans but also for the trees and all the birds nesting and feeding there, because 2 of them were cherry trees. And in your example what is a park without trees? I walk my dog every morning in the forrest and enjoy its calmness, the birds singing and the differend smells, especially after rain there is in some parts a wonderful nutty smell like nowhere else and I love and enjoy it!
    You're right to fight for the trees, humans are nothing without trees (and other plants!).
    And I like to thank you for your encouraging words about my exhibition!
    xo barbara bee