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International Day of Forests

The UN declared March 21 to be the International Day of Forests.

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Spiritual Connection

At the spiritual level, trees help us become more aware of our connections with something larger than ourselves. The forest is the place where I feel like home. I’ve always felt that forests are enchanting places full of spirits and so alive with energy. I feel a deep connection with trees, birds, animals..with life itself. We all have that connection. Just a simple walk in the woods can calm and invigorate our senses and remind us of the incredible relationship with the world.

In art, the tree of life is a common motif used in various forms to represent harmony, unity and connections between heaven and Earth, the past and present, death and rebirth. The symbol takes various forms, but basic elements include roots, trunk, branches and leaves, blossoms or fruit.

From my perspective, I absolutely believe in a greater spiritual power, far greater than I am, from which I have derived strength in moments of sadness or fear. That's what I believe, and it was very, very strong in the forest.

Jane Goodall

Fun facts about forests:

  • A forest is a large area dominated by trees, they serve as an ecosystem which includes many plants and animals.

  • The word forest derives from the Old French forest (also forès), denoting "forest, vast expanse covered by trees"; forest was first introduced into English as the word denoting wild land set aside for hunting without necessarily having trees on the land.

  • Forests are home to about 80% of the planet’s terrestrial animals and plants.

  • Forests covered over 10 billion acres or 31% of the Earth’s landmass in 2020.

  • Only 1.8 billion of the Earth’s 10 billion acres of forest are protected.

  • More than 50% of all the forest area on our planet is in just five countries.

    • Russia had 20.1% of the planet’s forest area in 2020 with over 2 billion acres.

    • Brazil had 12.2% of the planet’s forest area in 2020 with over 1.2 billion acres.

    • Canada had 8.5% of the planet’s forest area in 2020 with over 857 million acres.

    • The United States had 7.6% of the planet’s forest area in 2020 with over 766 million acres.

    • China had 5.4% of the planet’s forest area in 2020 with over 543 million acres.

  • The four main types of forests are boreal, temperate, subtropical and tropical. Boreal forests are only found in the U.S. - The State of Alaska, Canada and Russia. Temperate forests are found on every continent, except Antarctica. Subtropical forests are found on every continent, except Europe and Antarctica. Tropical forests are found on every continent, except Europe and Antarctica.

Celebrate this day

  1. Plant a tree or start your own garden

  2. Walk in the woods and hug a tree

  3. Meditate, visualizing as you inhale the tree is exhaling and as you exhale the tree is inhaling

  4. Write a note of gratitude in your journal

  5. Make an art piece, representing the forest

Take a break from the sensory overload - job, school, everything that emphasizes your busy schedules and causes you to lose focus in life, that takes your attention from who you really are, from what is really important. Take a walk in the woods and just for tat moment of being shift from thinking and doing to being and feeling.

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