Only recently I began thinking of this place as a forest. Previously it seemed to be just a forgotten corner of the farm where we are caretakers.
Now as I walk the trails we maintain I see that so many other animals benefit from them too. Our cats, of course, love to run around on the trials but so do wild (& rare) wild deer that I have only been able to catch glimpses of, guinea pigs, snakes and birds too.
Today I went out foraging for plants for my garden project – aloe vera and an ornamental purple plant called wandering dude.
Sitting on the ground and digging around I see that this “forgotten” corner of the land is full of life.
Between the invasive plants and fruit trees planted by generations past has become a natural nursery for wild herbs and native saplings – a forest of diversity for the future.
A few years ago I began to learn of about the benefits of vitamin D and the necessity of sun exposure for all humans. That was when I lived in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, in the cloudy, rainy state of Oregon. Having grown up in California where most days are sunny, moving to Oregon and living through the nearly sun-less winter affected me & my moods very profoundly. Most winters I was mildly depressed and every year got a cough or cold. Eventually I learned to cope by spending winter in sunnier locations and eventually moved away. I love Oregon and all the greenery of the PNW but, I just need sun!
At first it was an intuitive thing, I didnt know the specifics of vitamin D or that I was deficient. But with time I got more information about vitamin D deficiency and learned that it is very common – many natural doctors attribute low vitamin D to a variety of ailments from depression to the likelihood of illness from exposure to pathogens. Modern naturopathic research is suggesting that people with sufficient levels of vitamin D are unlikely to become seriously ill from this current pandemic as well as the common cold & flu.
So, yeah, vitamin d is important and the very best way to accumulate vitamin D is by being out in the sun without sunscreen. Sunshine is free and available (almost) all year depending on where you live. And in the depths of winter eating vitamin D rich foods or taking supplements if necessary is recommended.
Ideally we would all be able to travel a bit to catch more sun for a while during the darkest months of the year – solar pilgramages! For me, living in a place with more sunny days was the solution. For those who love where they live or don’t want to move, consider adding foods with more vitamin D to the diet and just taking time every day for sun exposure, even when it’s cold out.
Me, on a fall day, catching the last rays of sun & doing some yard chores. Spending time outdoors, in the sun and in little or no clothing is essential to a healthy and happy life, for me at least.
I’m so grateful that the sun shines, what about you?