Wayne County resident John Harvey will present the story of his latest book, The Stillness of the Living Forest: A Year of Listening and Learning at the 7th Annual Canal Festival on Saturday August 17 at 10:30 AM. At 1:00PM he will lead a Mindfulness Nature Walk along the Riverside Trail at the D & H Canal Park at Lock 31, located on Rt.6 one mile west of Hawley.

John’s book is based on a commitment he made to sit for an hour a week for a full year at the same spot in the forest. His intention was to deepen his connection with nature and observe the weekly progress of the seasons.

He chose a "sit spot" along the shoreline of Prompton Lake, Wayne County. Close, but not “to close” to home to become a distraction, this solitary observation point would be where the mysteries of nature would unfold. As the year progressed, John learned more about the natural world and by extension humanity and himself than he would have ever imagined possible.

His encounters with nature included seeing and listening to a plethora of birds, from winter wrens to sweet-singing warblers to tree rattling woodpeckers. He sat outside in all types of weather from warm summer sunshine, to crisp fall mornings, to below-zero cold. He watched and listened to the deer, squirrels and chipmunks and survived a heart-pounding encounter with a black bear.

He discovered two key concepts that shaped his experiences; blending in, and mindfulness.
As the year progressed he felt renewed, refreshed, and rejuvenated. Drawing on his background in clinical psychology he recognized the therapeutic and healing potential of a nature connection, a potential, which has been increasingly verified by the new and emerging science of “nature therapy.”

Forest Stillness, the story of his yearlong journey, was written to encourage and inspire readers to initiate their own program of a deeper engagement with nature. Dr. Harvey provides readers with practical, easy, and approachable ways to create their own nature connection and to accrue the many physical, mental, emotional, even spiritual benefits that a nature experiences can provide.

John Harvey obtained his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harvey served for many years as Director of Psychology at Allied Services in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and was an adjunct faculty member at the University of Scranton.

The festival’s schedule of events and park map can be found at www.WayneHistoryPA.org

Hard copies are at the main museum, 810 Main Street, Honesdale. More information about the Wayne County Historical Society and its D & H Canal Park at Lock 31 can be found at that web site or by calling 570 253-3240, and by visiting its main museum at 810 Main Street, Honesdale, Wednesday though Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM and Sundays from noon to 4 PM.