"Lessons From The Forest" blog"Lessons From The Forest" blog
LESSONS FROM THE FOREST:
#1. NEVER GIVE UP.
Too many Americans nowadays have been divorced—from nature. If you need a “marriage counselor” to help renew your vows with the woods, the air, the sky and the hidden lakes and streams, consider a little village on a mountaintop in upstate New York. It’s a tiny town that’s leading Greene County to a wellness-based green economy. It’s Tannersville. Some affectionately call it “The Village Greene.” In a stress-filled world that bombards city folks with more and more, Tannersville can boast that it offers less. Less crowding. Less tension. Less impurity. And more sights and sounds and smells and natural remedies for the senses. If you need a name for the town’s strategic policy, just call it the “Green Old Deal.”
The Japanese famously practice something called forest bathing. It’s a form of rigorous exercise for the senses and an understanding that the air and the leaves of the woods can awaken your well-being. Now that we’re all cooped up inside in a Covid-based culture, it’s a practice that can clean up your consciousness and scrub up your souls.
What’s going on in Tannersville is not all entirely natural. The renewal has been propelled by the Hunter Foundation, founded by Chuck Royce and currently headed by Town Councilman Sean Mahoney. It represents a kind of “village bathing.” They’ve painted the town, quite literally. At the inspiration of artist Elena Patterson, the Foundation bathed the buildings of Main Street with bright-painted colors reminiscent of fall foliage. The Foundation built Fromer Market, a greenhouse that grows organic vegetables, supplying fresh, nutritious food all year round. This has pollinated a boom in gourmet restaurants and refurbished hotels. And that in turn has spawned a flow of tourists and refugees from Brooklyn and other exotic urban places. The Foundation also provided the seed money for our own Wellness Rx facility, which believes in the synergy of natural remedies and modern-day medicine. The Hunter Foundation also built the local library, renewed the town golf course and is actively involved in preserving landmark buildings. These are all manmade policies. But it’s all natural. It’s all green. It’s all a strategy for the growth of jobs and a healthy community. Call it health-based wealth. You’ll find it all sprouting up in Tannersville, our own little Village Greene.
Now that you know this, let’s turn in our books to lesson #1 on what the forest has to teach. Have a look at the picture of the tree above. It’s had some troubles. Its business has been severely curtailed and cut into. But it still has a branch that’s thriving and green.
Though the world will sometimes gnaw at you and hollow you out to the edge of your ability to take much more, live on! May this tired old birch tree, whose trunk was reduced from two feet to two inches thick by the neighboring rudely self-interested beaver, inspire you to forge on! Visit the Village Greene. Take a walk in the woods. Let us know what the forest teaches you.
Be sure to order “The Boy and the Boy King” published by American University in Cairo Press December 1. Available on pre-order at Amazon.