This summer I visited two places that brought back a flood of memories from my youth, Ominik Marsh in Riding Mountain National Park and Epinette Creek Trials in Spruce Woods Provincial Park.
I was fourteen years old when hiked Epinette and spent the night in the backcountry with Sea Cadets. I learned a lot of things while I was a Sea Cadet including how to survive in the outdoors. I remember making traps for squirrels and rabbits, learning how to make fires and shelters, and how to conquor the seven enemies of survival.
I went to Epinette by myself today with my dog Asha for an afternoon hike. I spent about two hours on the trail and read a book for a half an hour. The trail had a few people hiking and mountain biking. It was nice to be alone but not completely alone.
I listened to the silence. I did not have a lot of thoughts running through my mind. My anxiety seems to cease to exist when I am hiking. I look at my surroundings and think of beauty and not what waits for me off the trail.
The leaves are starting to change colour as summer winds down. I commented loudly to Asha that my heart was full after seeing a breathtaking section that looked like heaven on earth. It was as if Mother Nature took her paint brush and swirled in shades of yellow, red, and orange. The gorgeous creation from nature made me call out to the sky with gratitude and I gave thanks for everything I have.
Yesterday was a tough day for me. I didn’t get off to the greatest start mentally and I struggled to keep going. It’s weird how today I popped right out of bed and met the morning with open arms. Yesterday was sunny, today was overcast. The prarie sun came out while I was hiking and beat down on us.
My mental health is in a good spot right now. Yes, sometimes I feel helpless and like I am struggling to come up for air but when I look at the big picture, I am good. I recognize when times get tough and I am vocal with my loved ones that my day or days are dark. Depression used to be a really lonely spot for me but now it’s slightly better knowing that I have the support from some pretty incredible people.
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