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Care for Some Forest Bathing? #MondayBlogs #forestbathing

I missed going forest bathing this weekend. Stuff happens. Mostly stuff that involves laundry and blogging. My work week is as busy as ever, if not busier. My husband noted the other day that I’m probably working more since I’ve been working at home.

Since my commute is only from my living room couch to my bedroom office, I definitely start work earlier. Back when I had to drive to my office, work wouldn’t start until:

  • I drove 25-30 minutes to my building,
  • parked the car and walked half a block,
  • got into the building,
  • walked up the stairs and down the hall,
  • turned on my computer,
  • gone to the ladies’ room,
  • filled my water bottle and my kettle,
  • put the kettle on for tea,
  • logged into my computer,
  • pulled out my peanut-butter-on-toast breakfast,
  • steeped the before-mentioned tea,
  • and opened Outlook.

Thanks to my current commute, most of those steps are omitted. So work starts earlier and now ends later too with documentation to complete at the end of each day. Plus, I often find myself thinking, “Oh, I’ll just respond to this one last email before I close out.” or “Oops, I need to put a reminder on that task.” or “While I’m still logged in, let me do just one more thing.” When I worked in a building that was nine miles away, I rarely had a problem leaving on time. I need to work on that.

Last weekend, we did engage in some forest bathing. Actually it was a double win since the forest includes a swamp.

Although my husband and I have been to this particular park numerous times over the last 30 years, new entrances and trails have been added.

A couple of days before, a fierce storm including a tornado came through this area.

Trail crews had been out after the storm, taping off areas that were dangerous. For the most part, the trees were left where they fell and we easily navigated around them. Still, it gave me a thrill to imagine a storm so intense it could bring down these impressive trees.

But didn’t I promise you a swamp?

Yes, indeed, you can’t have Florida forest bathing without a swamp. The afternoon light was perfect, giving this swamp an ethereal feel. I half expected fairies to peek out from the trees. My husband said the only thing missing was a water moccasin but that was fine with me.

As much as I love the varied hues of green, I always look for and often find a bit of color.

I’m so glad you came along with me on this virtual revisiting of a favorite hike.

On our way out.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Here’s your reward:

Wendy says, “Talk to the paw!”

Postscript: The next couple of weeks might be a bit intense for me (understatement). My supervisor is retiring after 30+ years with the department, and she has nine work days left. Nine work days left for me and the rest of the staff to mind-meld with her … I wish (where is Mr. Spock when you need him). The day after her last day, I’m supposed to be appointed to her position and start acting like I know things. (Keep in mind, I work for a bureaucracy so anything or nothing can happen.)

On the surface this will appear to be a promotion but it’s really just a necessary restructuring of our little section. No, I’m not being falsely modest. The plan is to maintain continuity while we “grow” our section and provide more opportunities for our (relatively) younger, brighter and more ambitious staff.

My point in saying writing all this is just to let you know what’s up with me.


Junior’s opinion of my upcoming new position.

Categories: life Nature

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

24 replies

  1. Good morning, Marie. Now I’m imagining you getting ready to start your morning routine. You may be worker more hours from home, but at least you have kitty cats there. I hope you’re able to work out that mind meld. πŸ˜€ And good luck with the transition into your new position.

    The swamp forest photos of great. I can see where that would forest bathing would soothe your souls.


  2. The start of your day sounds EXACTLY like mine except I walk two blocks to my building and I don’t put on the kettle. πŸ™‚ Seriously…identical. Now, like you, I roll out of bed and just stroll down the hallway to my writing room and log into work. Congrats on your “promotion!” LOL! Typically, “promotions” like that involve more work and responsibility without extra compensation. I hope you get a little extra jingle, but if not, at least you have your forest baths. Those trails are gorgeous!


    1. Thank you, Jill, for your good wishes and for making me laugh out loud! I bet our morning rituals at the workplace match most people’s. I’d often have hallway “meetings” because a colleague and I would be filling up our water bottles at the same time. I miss seeing my colleagues face-to-face but I do not miss my commute in the least. As for my promotion, I am supposed to get a raise so they are doing right by me there. But, yes, it will be more responsibility, not something I really want at this time in my life, but so be it. Forest bathing helps me keep perspective πŸ™‚


  3. Congratulations on your promotion, Marie! And how lovely to see your photos! I’m actually working on a chapter that takes place in a swampy area, so your photos are so inspiring and soothing! I feel myself taking a calming breath as I look at them.


    1. Thank you, Linda! How cool that you’re writing about a swampy place. I have to admit, this was the prettiest swamp I’d ever seen. The light was just perfect.


      1. Thanks, Marie:) I think I worry about names and labels too much sometimes. I tell myself it’s ok to appreciate without knowing every little thing. But, I also accept it’s the way my brain works. Always has.


        1. I think names and labels help us to form a connection with flora and fauna. A few years ago we took a couple of educational classes at a wildlife refuge, led by a retired professor. His knowledge of every single wild plant we examined just overwhelmed me. How I envy that ability to retain that kind of knowledge! I’ve forgotten most of what he talked about, but I’ve no excuses. We have lots of guidebooks at home to help with identifying plants, trees, insects, birds, reptiles, etc. Once I retire and can clear some space in my head, I hope to learn more. πŸ™‚


          1. I definitely think it has to do with my background in teaching workshops and classes, and leading tours at the gardens where I worked. I had to know all the names, botanical and common. But, I also think it’s just how my brain works. I want to learn more, too:)


  4. I love forest walks, but there a limited amount of forestry down here where I am on the islands. I have to drive up to Big Cypress. Most of the Pine forest has been cut down on Pine Island over the decades, and guess what was planted?………………………………..Palm trees. We have acres and acres of palm nurseries.


    1. Palm trees … hmmm. Now there’s a sabal palm grove in another forest where we like to hike and it’s quite a lovely spot, but those sabal palms are quite old. Maybe they should change the name of Pine Island to Palm Island … truth in advertising πŸ˜‰


  5. The swamp is lovely and makes me nostalgic for New Orleans, to which we haven’t been able to return since my husband’s surgery debacle and, of course, the virus. So thank for this peek. (Missing a moccasin and a gator, which we always see on our swamp hikes πŸ™‚ )


    1. Thank you, Ellen! Some wildlife would have added nicely to the vista but who knows … especially it comes to snakes, they are often hidden in plain sight. We like to hike in a wildlife refuge nearby. There are always gators lolling around the dikes and sometimes even the hiking trail itself πŸ™‚


  6. Oh wow, Marie. Congrats, I think. Wonderful images,etc. But the whole job thing sounds very overwhelming to me. Something similar is happening to my son. His boss got a new muckety much job somewhere else, and now he will be taking over her duties, but no extra pay or title LOL. Pandemic, you see. Do the cats love to have you home?


    1. The cats are quite used to having me at home. Their expectations of being served have risen πŸ˜‰ I think Junior does love having me home. He’s a mama’s boy. That sucks about your son’s situation. I hope it’s a temporary situation if they’re not raising his salary. One reason I took my supervisor’s position is so I would at least get compensated. Otherwise, I’d be doing her job as well as mine without the extra pay until they found someone else. It was also the fear of who they would hire to replace my supervisor.


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