Weekly Smile – A Practice of Gratitude

This week I am joining up with my friend Trent sharing a weekly smile with you. I really like the idea of thinking back upon things you are grateful for, something I try to do every day. Today I am really grateful for the past 6 weeks of vacation that I’ve been enjoying, and the remaining days of this last week of vacation.

This morning I went out to look for blueberries in the forest. There is plenty of blueberries this year, something I am very grateful for. Being able to forage blueberries and fill up the freezer with all the nutrients and antioxidants that will keep us healthy this winter is a blessing.

All the green foliage on the ground are wild blueberry bushes. I will admit that I offer my daughter a small incentive for every litre (about 2.2lbs) of blueberries that she picks. It motivates her, and she feels important, knowing that she actually makes a difference for our family. It’s like giving her a summer job I think.

I feel wonderful when I am in the forest, and those times when I manage to get my daughter to come with me she feel wonderful as well, and we share many smiles and laughters.

We recently watched a documentary about forest bathing. It was very interesting. I’ve practiced this my whole life, without knowing that it was a thing. I’ve notice that it makes a huge different in my well-being, and in my childrens well-being when we spend time in nature, compared to those busy times when we need to remind ourselves that it is high time to get outdoors.

“Forest bathing is not just for the wilderness-lover; the practice can be as simple as walking in any natural environment and consciously connecting with what’s around you. For a more structured experience, you can join trained guides for a meditative two- to three-hour ecotherapy excursion.” Β 

National Geographic

I’ve been really getting into mountain biking this summer, something I used to enjoy a lot as a teen growing up in the mountains. The past two weeks of my vacation I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone when it comes to difficulty of the trails I ride. I decided that it was time to get a better helmet. I tried it out for the first time this morning, and I am very happy with the fit, and that it keeps my head cool. Hopefully I never have to find out if the Mips safety system works, but it is suppose to be the safest there is for helmets nowadays. (Riding my mountain bike has to be safer than riding wild mustangs anyway, right?)

Before heading to higher elevation this morning there was an area of beautiful fern growing on both sides of the trail. I think ferns are so beautiful when they are healthy and lush like this. I hope you are smiling with me. What are you grateful for today?



Published by Maria

It’s all about experiences, and the healing power of nature. Life is about choosing happiness. My gypsy soul have taken me to many different countries, and definitely taught me to be more humble. I enjoy growing my own food, and spending time outdoors. I now reside in the region where I was born: Dalarna, Sweden. I am a mom, a kindergarten teacher, a minimalist and a gardener. Love, Maria

22 thoughts on “Weekly Smile – A Practice of Gratitude

  1. I guess I “Forest bath” without knowing there was such a thing… I have to be outside, but I always called it “communing with nature”. The blue berries look good! Most of the wild blueberries around here are up on small mountains. I know a few places that are just covered in them. I have several blueberry bushes in my backyard that are at least 70 years old. They are someplace between wild and domestic with the berry only slightly larger than wild ones. In over 20 years, I have eaten less than a handful because they are under the cover of the woods, so the birds eat them all πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a great week. Enjoy your bike!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I believe that if you once enjoyed the great outdoors, especially if it was at a younger age, then it’s like a drug that you need more of.

      What would happen if you moved the blueberry bushes in your backyard? To make them more accessible for you. I love blueberries. 2021 is a great year for all types of berries in our region. Thank you for reminding us to smile πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The forest is an inviting place, full of negative ions to relax and balance our bodies. Glad you are enjoying your time out there. I thought the same when I read about forest bathing… doing it all my life and now it has a name!
    I like the new helmet! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is very inviting. There is a small forest right next to my work, I take the children there almost every day, and I often spend my break taking a walk, or meditating there.
      Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The peacefulness of nature has been crucially important these last 17 months…luckily, even though I live in the midst of America’s second largest city, nature is just a couple of hours away, and what incredible nature it is – the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone national park and more1

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, a lot more people would have trouble coping with life if we didn’t have nature to recharge in. you do have amazing nature in your neck of the woods. I have an enlarged photo from my last visit to the Grand Canyon, right before the pandemi started 2019, in my living room.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Marie, I love your gratitude smile post!! So much to be grateful for these days. I love the wild ferns, so beautiful! πŸ’š And more important the wild blueberry bushes! I didn’t think about freezing blueberries. Wish we had a local place to pick them like you and your daughter, but this area doesn’t grow many berries of any kind. We buy them all the time but I eat them within a week. Maybe I’ll buy a bunch and freeze some as Trader Joe’s sells them in really big containers!! I Love your new helmet and I had no idea there was a name for forest bathing, that’s so cool! πŸ’• Thanks for all the smiles today!! 🀠

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish we had a Trader Joe’s nearby, I used to get groceries there every week when I lived in the Redding area πŸ™‚ There’s so many things you can grow with all those hours of sunshine in SoCal, many things I can not grow here, fruit trees especially, and warm weather vegetables. Today we’re heading to another nature reserve area a little further away, to see if there’s any blueberries there. Keep your fingers crossed πŸ™‚ Have a fabulous day my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to pick wild blueberries when I lived in the Upper Peninsulia of Michigan. They were TINY! It took me close to 30 minutes to pick enough to have a layer in the bottom of a cottage cheese container. I can’t imagine picking 2 pounds of them! They sure were good though! One time we ran into a bear up there though, and we figured we’d leave the berries for him as we headed back to the car.

    I think I forest bath too, and didn’t know that’s what it was called. My blog tomorrow is about my walk last week in the woods where I ran into lots of mama and baby deer. It was wonderful

    Enjoy your mountain biking! I haven’t gotten on my bike in two summers. No excuses, I should dig it out of the back of the garage!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It can be strenuous work to pick blueberries. The berries were rather small when we pick here as well, sometimes they are almost twice the size. We have bear and wolves in the forests here, but not likely this close to town. Deer on the other hand there’s plenty, some foxes as well.
      I am happy to hear that you are enjoying forest bathing as well. Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend!


  6. I am grateful for the chance to see your forest pics and take a virtual walk along that path with you! I had wondered whether the wearing of helmets was taking off in Scandinavia, or whether there was resistance to use them. A good idea if going mountain biking, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so happy for your company πŸ™‚ Bicycle helmets have been readily used for a long time in Scandinavia. I had one prior to this one as well, but it was intended for city use. When I started 1st grade, 1986, every student was gifted a bicycle helmet from the authority for road safety. I hope you are enjoying a wonderful week. I apologise for the late answer, this is my first week back to work, and its been a busy one πŸ™‚


      1. Thank you. We are in a lockdown atm for the Covid delta variant. But things are improving so we are hoping all is ok soon. Interesting to hear that helmets are recommended. Yet I don’t remember seeing many helmets when I visited. Is it just the school children who wear them?


        1. I am sorry to hear about the lockdown. Things are easing up a little here.
          Its the law to use a bike helmet if you are under 15 years old, it vary a lot if the adults wear helmets. In my area many adults do (long distance bike races, and competitive mountain biking is popular here,) but far from everyone is wise enough to wear a helmet.


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