Nature has a way of making us feel better by reducing stress, anger and fear. In Summerside, we have a paradise for stress reduction in the community. On a particularly stressful day recently, I discovered first hand how good a refuge from stress our boardwalk really is.
It was a glorious winter day! The sun felt warm, the temperature, just above zero and the air was calm. The boardwalk called to us. There were many other seniors out too. People greeted each other, many were the regulars we see every time we go. Everyone spoke of the gorgeous day because there haven’t been too many such days this year. All were determined to enjoy this one.
The forest was alive with birds. My husband and I recognize their voices now. The crows,
blue jays, chickadees, mourning doves and woodpeckers
all spoke to each other, filling the woods with their happy voices, as they too enjoyed the respite from the bitter cold. The woods sounded and felt happy as we walked.
In the river by the bridge, three muskrats played in the water, not bothered by the admirers who stood above watching them.
Occasionally someone threw a peanut in its shell into the water. The furry rodents grabbed them quickly and disappeared under the river bank,
to emerge later in search of more. While the river has open water, an inlet to their den or push-up is still frozen.
The furry creatures manage well under ice as well as water.
Two American Black Ducks were in the water too.
They dabbled for food and preened themselves in the sun. Then the two tucked their heads under their wings, as they stood in the water. They didn’t mind the people standing a few meters away, watching them, talking among themselves, several with cameras.
The squirrels approached as people stood admiring the muskrats and the ducks. They too wanted peanuts and looked at each person, watching for food. They were brave as they observed humankind but were prepared to run at any sudden move.
The setting was perfect and though there is ice as far as the eye can see,
the heat of the sun, the sounds of the animals and their antics take one away from the worries of the world and life. The greetings of other travellers, the shared human experience and connection in nature’s living room were a refuge from the storm of life. Such an encounter helps one face the day! Time well spent!