After the rain we’ve had this year, it's THE time to escape the office and get outdoors. Wait, what am I saying? We've been stuck at home for months now and we've probably forgotten what the outdoors looks like. But with travel restrictions being lifted within NSW from June 1st, we need to start venturing beyond our own four walls for the sake of our mind, body and everyone around us!
The benefits of forest bathing are becoming more known. From reducing stress, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure to improving not only recovery from illness but your creativity too! Foraging for mushrooms is therapeutic, peaceful and a little addictive if I’m honest! Around this time last year, we went to Hampton State Forest, about an hour’s drive from Fifth Ave Katoomba Retreat. Looking back at the short video I took, a few things come to mind:
The only sounds were the trees creaking and the occasional bird chirping. Apart from the three of us, there was not another person in sight. Social distancing. Check.
Such a solitary experience brings one feelings of calm and perspective. Even the seeming absence of colour is reassuring to an overloaded mind. Being totally in the moment, focused on finding mushrooms can be quite healing. And certainly the grandeur of the trees encompassing you is both impressive and grounding at the same time. Just the fact that you are amongst nothing but these giants of Nature (no digital device in sight) makes your mind work in a different way.
I did mention that foraging can become addictive. Especially if you happen to have my mother as your guide. Having had a lifetime of experience gathering mushrooms, she knows exactly what to look for and where. And when she produces 10 to my one, it's game on! But the serene atmosphere overtakes and you can't help but do this in an almost slow motion tempo. Curious.
We took home a few buckets of mushrooms, and thanks to my mum, we've had a year's supply of them pickled, preserved and cooked 😂.
NB: Oberon Visitors Centre advises only two types of mushrooms are safe to eat. See this link for information: https://lnkd.in/gQxmEdQ
Or if you want to venture out for a day trip with my mother as Guide, and me as lunch provider, we can arrange a small group outing. Plan ahead for next year and contact us for details.