Beneath the canopy

Forest canopy

A trail beckons
Overgrown, almost indiscernible
Leading me away from my thoughts
Between fallen branches and stumps
To the secret waterfall

Silent and barren
Waiting for spring’s rebirth

I gaze up to the canopy above
Soft green leaves
Cradle the sky
Enfolding me in their arms
Protecting me

I stop and listen
And am rewarded
The forest reveals itself
Chattering like two old ladies on a park bench

The jays’ jeers and caws
Echo through the leafy canopy
Overpowering the faint chirps and peeps
Of warblers and songbirds

The rustling leaves dance in the wind
A lone leaf spirals downward
Swaying back and forth
Down, down
Landing gently on the forest floor

I look down
The canopy above is reflected below
A sea of scattered yellow leaves
An early surrender
To fall’s call to arms

This week’s #HappyAct is to spend some time beneath the canopy.

Editor’s note: I wrote this poem in the woods near my house. I’ve always found the woods a very peaceful place and studies show spending time in nature can be directly correlated to a person’s happiness.

I wanted to comment on a recent trend, Forest Therapy Walks. The whole idea of calling a hike in the forest a “therapy walk” makes me cringe, but nomenclature aside, I’d advise against joining a group of people. Group walks are great if you want to learn about the native species or meet new people, but if you truly want to connect with nature, explore on your own.

Forest canopy looking up
Sunlight in a forest

Roamin’ in the gloamin

Sun shimmering through trees
The gorgeous light of the gloamin

It’s fall, my favourite season. For me, the first days of fall are as bitter sweet as the orange-berried vine that grows in our fields this time of year. I am reluctant to bid summer adieu, but embrace the crisp days and cool nights and sweet smells of fresh apples and wood smoke in the air.

This is when I start counting down the days and hours before daylight savings time. I get home quite late, so I often only have an hour at home after work before it gets dark. This is my time to go roamin’ in the gloamin.

There is something very special about the light at this time of year in the evening–the way it shimmers and casts a soft glow over the landscape. It’s magical.

This week’s #Happy Act is to go roamin’ in the gloamin’. Having a lad or lassie by your side is optional (I usually just have my two big dopey dogs by my side).

About the song

I always thought Roamin’ in the Gloamin was an old Scottish folk song, but it was actually written in 1911 by Sir Harry Lauder. The song tells of a man and his sweetheart courting in the evening. Here are the words of the chorus:

“Roamin’ in the gloamin’ on the bonnie banks o’ Clyde.
Roamin’ in the gloamin’ wae my lassie by my side.
When the sun has gone to rest,
That’s the time we love the best.
O, it’s lovely roamin’ in the gloamin”

Dog in wooded path
Roamin’ in the gloamin with Murphy by my side