The Pictures Through My Window

As I look out the window of my bedroom, it is like a constantly changing picture, familiar content just changing as the days and months go by.

On a hot Summers’ day, the trees seem like they are steaming in the heat and the leaves are still and hang straight down like limp laundry. The sky is a brilliant blue, with a heat haze suspended in the distance, and the light is bright and harsh. As the afternoon moves forward, the wind starts to pick up in the canopy of gums, and the leaves start to lift. In the distance, you can hear the rolling of thunder as another summer storm rolls through the mountains. Big raindrops hit the window at an angle as the rain runs down the tree trunks in an impressionist art pattern, the temperature turns cooler and everything is wet and damp.

The year rolls round to Autumn, the light softens, the sky gets bluer and the grasses start to brown as the days shorten towards Winter. When you wake up in the morning the sun is still on the other side of the eastern mountain and its light has yet to brighten the sky. You can mark your day by where the sun hits on the trees, telling time by the shadows. As the season progresses the sun is lower in the sky and angles into the room differently. It highlights different parts of the trees in light and shadow, in comparison to summer when the whole landscape is bathed in light.


Winter is normally drier than summer so things don’t change as much. The white cedars lose all their leaves, becoming stark silhouettes against the surroundings. The days get longer, the Winter solstice is past and spring comes. The white cedars begin to sprout with lime-green leaves showing that it is time for new life to begin again.

The gum trees, which are so much a part of our landscape, don’t alter much throughout the year – they stand like solid stalwarts through every season. They move with the wind and breeze and suck up the sun and water. Gum trees are iconic.

I know I am blessed to have an unrivaled view outside my window, with no buildings in sight and no close neighbours – just surrounded by nature constantly.

There was a scientific study done in the late 20th century by a gentleman who wanted to see the difference in the behaviors of people if their hospital room looked out onto either a tree or a concrete wall. He found that those who looked out into nature got better quicker and needed less pain relief.

I think we were created to be participants in nature and that the natural is made to be a part of our story. I believe it is our job to manage and massage nature and the earth to be the best it can be. Obviously, we must look around us with eyes that aren’t focused only on ourselves and what we can get, but also on the plants and animals that make up this wonderful planet. Eyes open to see what is needed to create a symbiotic ecology.

I think that every one of us needs to get out into nature on a regular basis whether it be a postage stamp-sized backyard with grass and flowers or a huge national park. We need to experience the grass beneath our bare feet, the majesty of trees and the perfection of a flower.

There is this thing called forest bathing – it sounds risque but isn’t.

It is basically spending time in nature mindfully, without mobile phones going off, without the cares of the every day – just immersing yourself in nature, be that a flower garden or a forest – as the case was in Japan, where it all started. In the 1980’s Japanese society realized they needed a way to counterbalance the rush of the high technological way of life – and they wanted society to value the remaining forests in Japan. So, they came up with “Forest bathing”, and there has been many studies that prove it works! It helps lower blood pressure, improves the immune response and most importantly increases mental health. * In Japan’s case it also developed the community’s relationship with the natural forests in the country, by helping them understand a value to themselves that was intrinsic in the environment.

I believe for our soul’s relaxation we need to be a part of nature.

And to help play my part, if you wish to come out and visit Shingle Hut Creek Nature Refuge to boost your emotional and mental health, drop us a line and we will organize a time.

*Furuyashiki A, Tabuchi K, Norikoshi K, Kobayashi T, Oriyama S. A comparative study of the physiological and psychological effects of forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku) on working age people with and without depressive tendencies. Environ Health Prev Med. 2019 Jun 22;24(1):46. doi: 10.1186/s12199-019-0800-1. PMID: 31228960; PMCID: PMC6589172.

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