Enchanting Forests

After a weary week at work, i thought the guided walk would drain me further but it did otherwise.

A two hour walk seemed like 15 mins. It was raining the entire morning and at the walk it drizzled. The air was cool and it was comfortable. Visually, my eyes were treated to different hues of green and brown leaves of the leaf litter and brown of the tree trunks and fallen logs. I felt like I was in some story book description of an enchanted forest. I practiced mindfulness and walk at a slow pace, all the time breathing peacefully and guided unhurried. I felt revitalized and every creature we spotted and observed made it even better. I guess this is what people mean by bathing in the forest. The air and surrounding is just so comforting, healing and revitalizing. The only thing that marred the perfect morning was a condominium launch.

How anyone could cut down a patch of forest is beyond me. Firstly, they must have not been in the forest to appreciate it enough. Secondly, they must not know that there are thousands of living things in a patch of forest. Thirdly, they must have had a childhood void of walks in nature (I feel bad saying this but seriously, I think a childhood walk in the forest must surely leave some good memories) . Fourthly, they must not appreciate plants for the oxygen we breathe. Fifthly, they must not have seen a colugo carrying its baby gliding form tree to tree. Sixthly, they must think they have no responsibility over our natural heritage. 7thly, they must really think people want concrete instead of greenery. 8thly, they prefer shopping centres instead of walks in the peaceful forests. The list can go on. Is it a lack of understanding of the complexity and rich diversity that makes a forest so vulnerable or is it a lack of attachment to our forests?

Anyway, the quest goes on and we must be tireless in protecting what must be the only original thing left in Singapore – our primary forests. And the best way forward is education. If we want our primary forests to exist for future generations to enjoy and take a peaceful walk in a highly strung society – more people need to understand the value of the forest, either to our mental health or in its rich diversity.

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