At Carrot Ranch this week, Charli says, “I’m connected to the past and future, to the Lake working-template-for-ff-challenges13.pngSuperior pines not yet free of snow, to the wilderness I’ve seen and not seen, to forests on distant shores. For a time of healing, I’m going to imagine forest bathing.”   Wilderness does connect us with past and future, and to our selves. It is our sacred duty to preserve and protect wilderness for future generations. In turn the wilderness will preserve and protect us.                                                                                             The April 19, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about forest bathing. You can use the Japanese term, Shinrin Yoku, or you can make up your own ideas about the phrase. Go where the prompt leads. Respond by April 24, 2018. 

Stark, by D. Avery

Serena stopped often to breathe deeply, filling her lungs, her heart, her soul with the spruce incensed air. She loved walking this familiar path among the trees, but quickened her pace as she approached the high mountain meadow, delighting as always in the waving grass, the colorful wildflowers nodding the way to the small crystalline lake cupped by the snowcapped mountain peaks. Serena drank it in. The guide suggested other experiences, but Serena always chose to return here.

“Serena, time’s up. Remove the apparatus and step out of the capsule.”

Sighing, Serena left the virtual wilderness, returned to reality.

27 thoughts on “Stark

      • We try that in the nursery I teach in. Management wanted tv’s and loads etc. We resisted saying they only get 3 hours with us daily. Let them learn through exploration and play. No doubt at home they are used to the electronic babysitter… aka screen devices, the rest of the time!

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      • Dang straight, Ritu. Time at school is limited and screens can infringe not enhance the deep learning at any age. In fact it adds to curriculum as screen safety and digital citizenship need to be taught. We are seeing damage from not enough outside imaginative play time (which is informed by wild spaces and places) and too much virtual time and anti-social time which gets named “connected”. Rant.

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  1. Great job! My son has a friend that plays his games using a VR setup and he says that he feels weird every time he takes it off. I do wonder if there will ever be a time when we stop living in reality because of our VR lives.

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  2. That’s what we’ll end up having to do – if and when they colonize Mars.
    When my grands come over (though often it is true) I tell them I forget what channel their programs are on. They play with the kiddie kitchenette, building bricks, games and books. And when there is time we bake. If the weather is good we go for a walk around the block.

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  3. Its a sad reality of life now isn’t it, kids with their attention on screens and not outside falling over, playing in the mud and climbing trees. I don’t think VR will ever replace the real thing.

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  4. I was with Serena all the way. Why, indeed, would she choose any other experience? I was saddened then to find it was a virtual experience. Perhaps there are times when being able to experience that virtually would be a bonus (e.g. astronauts, those confined to bed) but please not for the world.

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  5. Pingback: Forest Bathing « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

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