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  • Steeple Woods

A walk in the Woods

One of the jobs for the Volunteer's Wednesday work sessions is to check for storm damage in the old Woods. This is mainly to make sure everyone can use the paths safely.


As well as taking care of Health and Safety, walking slowly through the Woods, looking closely at all of the trees is a very mindful and meditative activity. It's well understood that time spent in nature provides physical and mental health benefits.


But it's not only the trees. The old Woods is a fragment of Temperate Rain Forest which leans that, amongst other things, there is a lot of moss.


Moss covered stone.
Moss covered stone.

Pondering the moss on the trees and stones while walking around the Woods brings to mind the Japanese veneration of moss.


A group of moss covered stones surrounded by fallen leaves.
Nature beats gardeners every time.

The Japanese view moss as representing the concepts of simplicity, humility and refinement.


Japanese culture also values age and history. Because moss grows slowly over years and years, for example to cover the surface of a stone, the Japanese see something inherently virtuous about the plant.


So next time you are in the old Woods, or anywhere else you come across moss, take a moment to reflect on simplicity, humility, refinement and the passage of time.

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