Biophilia in language – can you help?

walking in autumnal woodland.jpg
Photo courtesy Dom Brenton https://dombrenton.com/

I am on the hunt for words or expressions – in any language – which describe a particular sensation or feeling people get from being in nature, especially forests, but it could be any kind of nature.

A few weeks ago I posted about ‘komorebi’ – the Japanese word for sunlight filtering through leaves, and Dr James Braund (University of Auckland) alerted to me to the wonderful German word, ‘Waldeinsamkeit’, meaning ‘being alone in the woods and experiencing the surrounding natural world on a profoundly sensory, if not spiritual level’.

I also found an interesting blog about the Norwegian term ‘friluftsliv‘, first coined by the Norwegian playwright and poet, Henrik Ibsen, to describe the value of spending time in nature for spiritual and physical wellbeing.

But I would be very interested to hear about any other words or phrased used in other languages (including any in English – I am struggling to think of any).

Autumn in the Pohangina Valley

Oak tree web.jpgIt was mid-autumn when we moved to our new home in the Pohangina Valley, and the valley has been ablaze with autumn colour – one of the advantages of living in a colder climate where seasons are more delineated.

This has been one of my favourite scenes: a vista from our drive, across the farmer’s paddock out to the Ruahine Range. I love the vibrant contrast of colour: the red of the solitary pin oak, the green of the pasture and bush, against the backdrop of blue-tinged mountain range.

This post was first published on www.catherineknight.nz

See also: The influence of seasons on culture and environmental perceptions; More about seasonal change (fungi)

Biophilia as an “environment-sustaining instinct”?

Bird in rainYesterday dawned an overcast but warm day. A fine, summery rain began to fall after breakfast, the kind of rain that is not at all unpleasant to walk in, or turn your face up to. I found it quite refreshing, and was a little disappointed when I could see it was starting to clear. But when I went to my gym class that morning, the instructor ran through her usual greetings, and then declared with surprising intensity (in contrast to her usually serene demeanor, befitting of a yoga instructor) – “I hope it is fine for Christmas and we have no more of disgusting weather!” Continue reading