When I was moving to Ottawa for school in 2013, I thought to myself, “Oh great, a big government city where I will find myself drowning in the noise, light, and environmental pollution.” You could say that that was foolish and ignorant of me, because Ottawa proved me wrong—so so wrong. It’s likely that there are just as many green spots, parks, scenic venues as there are government buildings… Okay maybe not, but there is so much to see in Ottawa.
I am the type of nature enthusiast who likes to immerse myself in it and relax. I use it as therapy. It might sound a little silly to some. A guy who thinks himself witty might say, “What, are doctors going to hand out prescriptions to go hug a tree to patients who have stress and anxiety?” Well, he’s not that far off. Many doctors are telling their patients to go outside to help with depression, anxiety, stress and other ailments. I make sure to go out and enjoy what the world has to offer so I can alleviate my stress and struggles with depression.
One of my favourite and first spots I ever visited was Hog’s Back Park. It has everything everyone trying to get away from the urban jungle wants: beautiful scenery, great spots for picnics, easy access, and the Hog’s Back Falls! Sure, they’re man-made, but they’re beautiful to look at and enjoy. The park is at its most beautiful in the fall when the leaves look like they fell out of a rainbow.
I actually went to the park with my writing journal. I don’t often write with a pen and paper anymore, but the experience of writing under a tree on a beautiful day is unmatched. When at the park, I feel like I can breathe easily, move at my own pace, and have nothing to worry about—except bugs coming after my sandwich—and enjoy the little things that the environment has to offer. You might find yourself lost in all your gazing for awhile; it’s a good feeling.
I come home replenished after such an outing. Hog’s Back Park is one of the natural highlights of Ottawa, and I hope its residents don’t forget to take advantage of what their city has to offer.
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.