Breathing with
the Forest

Where do you end,
and the world begins?
It begins with breath,
the syllables of starlight,
an ancient language of the cosmos
uttered by forests,
mountains and bodies.
We belong to the biosphere,
a beautifully complex system that
connects us to everything.
Trees inhale our breath and
use sunlight to exhale oxygen.
With each breath we take,
a rhythmic interchange that keeps
the forest—and us—alive,
unfolds in an eternal cycle of reciprocity.
These trees are portals through which
you leave your self-importance behind
and embody something much larger,
much stranger.
We imagine ourselves as sealed-off individuals,
but our bodies are porous,
suffused with the world around us,
home to thousands of microscopic symbiotic
inhabitants sharing nutrients,
light and breath.
Entering the forest,
we step out of our separateness to embody
something much more than human.
We discover that our idea of separation between
one being and the next is an illusion.
With each breath, we exchange parts
of ourselves with the wider world.
From this chorus
an atmosphere is sung into being,
boundless, caressing.
What is it like to be one of the largest
organisms that has ever existed?
How does it feel to host a vast web of
relationships that anchor an ecosystem?
The atmosphere is a co-creation
of all breathing things,
and you only exist in relation to
everything else.
The trees,
air and oceans are as much a part
of you as your own body.
Just below your skin you are a branching
being made of currents and rivers,
the world flows into you
and you flow into the world.
Our collective future depends on seeing the invisible
networks between us and the living Earth,
the world beyond our human senses.
Hidden in the layers of a tree,
we uncover the vibrancy of life.
Nutrients pulse through the arteries
in sync with a heartbeat.
Rivers of carbon pour into the soil.
From its roots to its canopy, the tree is
a living bridge between the earth and the sky.
These are the tides we live in,
nourishing us inside and out.
In ripples and ricochets,
immersing us in abundance,
as the world breathes out…
and you breathe in.
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