May the forest be with you
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Autor: Farah Barakat, Hudara

What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare. No time to stand beneath the boughs and stare as long as sheep or cows. No time to see, when woods we pass, where squirrels hide their nuts in grass. No time to see, in broad daylight, streams full of stars like skies at night (…)“ wrote W. H. Davies in his poem “Leisure”. And so it is, sometimes our lives are full of worries. Sometimes we are very absorbed in our daily routine. Then we cannot enjoy the beautiful scenes of sunset and sunrise, we become blind to the beauty of the moon, we do not have the leisure to observe animals and we do not enjoy the dancing ripples on the surface of a stream reflecting the sunlight.

We wanted to take the time to “stand and stare”. We wanted to pause together and take a breath, from our week, from our commitments. This is why we at Hudara gathered in Körner Park, Berlin last month. This process was supported by reading poetry and reflecting on the lyrical descriptions of nature and our relationship to it.

As Hudara’s work and research focuses on the mental health and wellbeing of people and communities, but also on environmental and climate protection, we are interested in the positive effects nature has on us people, how we feel in it, how we gain energy through it, how we let go and relax while being in the green. In general, spending time in nature can help us recover from stress and lift our spirits, because our affinity for nature is deeply rooted in us, almost genetic, and goes both ways between us and nature. Khalil Gibran puts it: “Remember that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play with your hair.”

Thank you for those being there and sharing your poetry. It was quite enchanting to hear so many verses and different translations in English, German, Russian, Ukrainian, Arabic and Georgian.

May the forest be with you!