Some cynics might say that ecotherapy is a load of crap, but all I have to say is go out and try it for yourself; it’s the only way to know if it works for you. When I first moved to Ottawa, I was still shy, had issues with anxiety and was a bit of a loner. I was in the Algonquin College residence for most of the time I was there in the first year. I became depressed, and dropped out of the journalism program. Then it got worse. I became a hermit, not willing to leave my room, as I was embarrassed by my failures. I was in a rut, and felt like I dug my own grave of shame.
Near the end of the school year, it was finally nice out again, and I figured my free time should be spent in a way that wouldn't make me feel worse. I went outside and decided to go exploring. I found a beautiful forest trail just off a bike path near the college. I spent over half of my day in there. It felt good, like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. No, I wasn’t cured of my depression by running around in a forest for a day, but it was a start, a fresh one.
Most recently, school started kicking into high gear with midterm season. Most of the week I was stuck inside working on projects and assignments while it was pouring rain outside. The rain never relented, but I was tired of being shut in. I got a light jacket and headed out to the Mer Bleue Bog. It’s a bog in the southern part of Ottawa, which is funny because the ecosystem of the bog itself is more like northern Canada.
I hiked in the rain for more than two hours, doing the hiking trail loop twice. Thankfully, most of the trail is on a boardwalk, but there are parts where you’ll get nice and muddy. It also has panels that describe the history and science behind the bog.
The sensation of the rain hitting my face while I enjoyed the beautiful scenery is something I can never recreate unless I do it again exactly the same way. It washed away the terrible feelings I had over the past week. Stories and pictures can’t do it justice. It’s something that you have to go out and experience yourself.
Maxime is a professional writing student who enjoys every slice that life has to offer. He is a nature enthusiast, a techie, music geek, gamer, literary nerd, and a cycling aficionado. Finding inspiration in everyone and everything, Maxime enjoys observing life through the looking glass.