Three Winter Invitations
Mosses and lichens invite closer inspection when discovered on tree bark and along the forest floor. Decaying trees and dormant grasses bend gracefully toward the earth. Towering trees and branches make patterns against the sky. Tree bark and dried leaves take on a patina when bathed in winter light. Frost in the sunshine provides sparkling light along the trails. Snow cover offers clues to the wildlife that may have walked along the trails earlier in the day.
Here are three invitations to use on your next winter walk:
‘Notice the Beauty in Imperfection and
Impermanence in Nature’
Note: The winter months are an ideal time to walk in the forest and notice the beauty in the imperfect and impermanent elements in nature. The lush green growth of summer has become dormant allowing for greater visibility of landscape elements.
For this invitation, I invite my participants to walk along the trail and notice elements of nature that appear imperfect, worn, aged or incomplete. If they feel drawn to an element that they have discovered, I invite them to move toward it and spend some time with it. They can notice details such as texture, light patterns, color, movement, fragrance and sound. I also invite them to notice how the details of this element resonate within them. When their experience with this element feels complete I invite them to move toward another and repeat this process.
‘Move Slowly and Notice the Sparkles’
For this invitation, I invite my participants to move slowly along the trail or through a meadow and notice sparkling snow or frost in the sunlight.
Notice how frost can outline a leaf or wood mulch along the trail. Do the sparkles of the frost create a pattern on a leaf or on the grass? Are any frozen water droplets sparkling from branches or plants?
If there is a snow cover, notice how the sparkles dot the landscape. I then invite them to notice any thoughts or feelings that they have when noticing the sparkles.
‘Notice the Signs of Wildlife’
I then invite everyone to imagine being a small animal. They have a sense or a knowing that a winter storm is coming. I invite them to look for a place that they could find or build a cozy home where they could go during the storm to feel warm and protected.
After each invitation we gather in council to share what we have been noticing. Participants often find that what they are noticing provides a metaphor for their own life.
of Forest Therapy Guides to see if there is one in your area to lead you or a group on a walk.