Forest-Bathing on Mt Davidson
February 5, 2014 1 Comment
Another article in our Park Visitor series: First-person accounts of visits to our parks, published with permission. This one looks at the imperiled forest on Mt Davidson. Please help save these trees by signing our new petition to the Mayor. It crossed 1,000 signatures within 3 weeks! The link is HERE.
It was a golden afternoon, the summer-in-winter weather we’ve been having lately. My friends and I had been discussing the situation in Taiji at a cafe in Miraloma. It’s a difficult topic, fraught with painful images of slaughtered dolphins. Afterward, I suggested a walk in the healing greenery of the forest. The Japanese speak of shinrin-yoku “forest-bathing” as a way to relieve stress. It seemed appropriate.
We took the forest entry just down the road from the bus turnaround. The path there, wide enough for a car, is blocked by a substantial gate across it. On either side of the gate, there’s a small space where a person can enter. Step through, and you’re inside the woods.
A mossy bank beside the trail was draped in ferns and strands of ivy.
I’ve heard this grows under eucalyptus because the trees capture moisture from the fog and keep it watered.
At the summit, the forest gave way to an open plateau. We sat on the bench there for a minute, taking in the view.
The city lay before us in the evening light. But a brisk wind was picking up, and we couldn’t stay. We headed back into the forest as the sun started to set, coloring the trees.
This forest is incredible, and it’s wonderful that such a place exists in a major city. Sadly, the Natural Areas Program, which controls this forest, plans to fell 1,600 of these trees to expand the area available for native plants and scrub. I hope it doesn’t happen. They’re over 100 years old, tall and beautiful.