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  • Writer's pictureMelina Meador

Forest Bathing

There is a Japanese word that translates "Forest Bathing". It's being out in earth's loveliness and breathing it in, letting the detritus of modern life wash away. ("Woo" but not "Woo Woo" if you know what I mean.)

I got to do that today on a hike up the steep and ravishingly beautiful Manastash range, up to the point at the top wherein you look over the Ellensburg valley in miniature. It's two miles up and from that height you can see cloud shadows laying over parts of the hills below you.

My friend Esther and I hiked to the peak in the 78 degree heat, talking the way up. She is one of the wiser people in my life, untroubled even though she wrestles life with its sharp elbows like we all do. I admire her face forward bravery.

The Boy Scouts and specifically Spencer Simpson did a good thing last year moving a giant, smoothed log into place at the top for a seat for enjoying the mesmerizing view. Perched on it we drank sparkling water and ate maple syrup peanut butter oatmeal cookies with satisfying chocolate chunks.

We watched two crows skydive, flying up just a bit before quickly pointing beaks to ground and folding their wings in against their glossy bodies to joyride down. I felt my stomach rumple but I admired their fearlessness. I would not make a good bird.

Then we made our way down the dirt path, once seeing a large snake sunning itself on the trail but not much else. We were silent for the most part, smelling the fragrance of our shrub steppe, letting it bathe us in peace.

"The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof." Ps. 24:1

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