You’ve had a bad day, things just aren’t going the way you imagined, and you’re ready to throw in the towel. Your thoughts are flying all over the place; anger disappointment, sadness, frustration, and you decide to take a walk in the forest, clear your head, and it’s raining.
This was me yesterday.
Our Swedish forests are special; mostly furs and pine, a few deciduous trees; birch, aspen, book and sometimes majestic oaks, and lots of moss, all kinds of moss, all colors of green, and then there’s the mushrooms, the blueberries and the lingonberries, and this year they were abundant, carpeting the forest floor.
Kathrin and I spend Sunday and Monday on the island where we live, the other five days are at Open World Café, and we cherish our walks in the forest, even when it’s raining. Walking in the forest is like meditating, you feel differently about whatever you’ve been thinking before. It’s a blessing.
The moss is sometimes so thick you sink in and it’s like walking on a super luxurious carpet, a soft carpet on the forest floor welcoming you. The silence is highlighted by the birds, sending signals that someone is in their space. Small trails line the ground, going under trees too low for humans to pass, here and there roughed-up moss and droppings. We have elk, deer, fox, hare, squirrels, and even the occasional lynx, which is only seen very rarely. A century ago people were scared of walking in the forests here on the island because of the big bear families calling the island their home.
Forests are very special.
Kathrin once stopped in the forest and looked up and said: “imagine if we could talk to trees?”, I thought about it and answered: “I think we are talking to trees, just not with words.” Trees just make me feel good, I like the company of trees, I like the wisdom of trees.
It’s different when the forest has been cut down, although clear-cutting is very rare. It’s different, and very sad. In Sweden today there is less than 0.5%, that’s less than one half of a percent, of the total surface of Sweden, which is 450,000 square kilometres, which is considered “ancient” forest, and those 0.5% forests are then at most about three hundred years old.
Our Environmental Minister, Andreas Carlgren, has highlighted the urgent need for biodiversity to counter the destructive effects of the Climate Crisis.
What have we lost? We shall never know.