It's common to hear people of older generations comment on how different their childhood was compared to the lives of children now. There was less media, less generalized fear, and more time spent outdoors. We often hear stories of how our parents or grandparents spent hours alone or with their friends wandering through the landscape, with little to no supervision. Fast forward to today's world and parents are taught live in fear of the world for their children. As consequence, children are spending less time outdoors than ever before, with the television-babysitter becoming a common practice. While this is a trend being commented on by people such as Richard Louv and organizations like the Children and Nature Network, there are those who are intentionally finding ways to immerse their children in the great outdoors- even when their culture does not support it. Katriina Kilpi, a Finnish expat living in Belgium, describes her experience of being an outdoorsy Mother living in a non-outdoorsy environment, all the while doing the best she can to instill the value of nature in her children. This is a beautiful piece about remembering a carefree, nature-full childhood, and the struggles of living in a location where a nature-based lifestyle is not the norm.
Recent research shows that there is more to the life of plants than we ever imagined and knew before. Intimate communications among them, sensory perception, and energetic responses are some of the new characteristics we have discovered when it comes to the plant world. What do these new personality traits mean for inter-species relationships between humans and plants? How can we utilize these new understandings to dive deeper into connection and relationship with our photo-synthesizing neighbors? In this week's blog piece, Daniel Burge explores intimate communication and fellowship with plants in the surrounding lands of his home in Ireland. He tells of profound messages, longing, and a deep love which only a flower could evoke. May this piece inspire you to explore personal relationship and contact with the plant kingdom around your own home. Perhaps they have a message for you which you need to hear.
Every now and then a well known business or publications circulates a piece on Forest Therapy which we find very helpful and informative. This is one of them. Forest Therapy is taking off in the spa-world, and this piece by Erica Bay (originally posted on Orbitz.com) give a wonderful overview of the spas around the United States which have partnered with ANFT to bring forest bathing to their guests. If you are looking to incorporate Forest Bathing into your next luxury spa experience, we recommend checking out one of the locations listed below. Happy forest bathing!
When going out into the woods or in the wild, we are undoubtedly likely to encounter other wildlife whose lands we are entering into. These creatures large and small surround us while we take solace in their peaceful homeland. For centuries indigenous cultures have appreciated and valued the wisdom and insight of these non-human animals, and have listened to their communications. Yet, in our hustle and bustle world, we have lost sight of the possibility of communication between species, and now see animals as ignorant, non-emotional creatures who have nothing to offer us in the way of wisdom or intelligence. This story shared by ANFT Founder and Director Amos Clifford is a beautiful tale of how through non-verbal communication and an intelligence beyond his own capacity, Coyote saved Amos from potential death. This story offers us insight into the depth of compassion and perception of the more-than-human world, and invites us to open ourselves up to the communications these creatures have for us.
Blog pieces are written by ANFT Writers, guest contributors, and introduced by Blog Editor Denell Nawrocki. Submissions may be emailed to Denell at ANFTsubmissions@gmail.com for consideration.