When I was a boy, the bayou Bonne Idee flooded. I…
She would have loved a creek bath but didn’t dare,
only chuckled at the saucy thought.
That wasn’t what the term meant anyway.
In Japan it’s called shinrin yoku
her daughter said, forest bathing,
where you go to the woods to renew
to soothe, to relax, to change on the inside.
Country people had always just called it walking.
Striking out across uneven ground
the fat trees welcome us, whispering
a breathless hello.
Our feet drink from the heavy dew
wash the soul clean,
breezes erasing the world
and its cash out of our eyes.
Branches clap their approval—take a bow.
We pulse along, a kind of wind ourselves,
stop under a red maple veil
in a wedding tent of sleepy poplars,
xylem and cambium rooting us
to a wildness of spirit
as the rooted ones wave us on.