Enjoying nature’s tranquility

It was a hot weekend—and the heat is continuing this week.
Awakened by the roar of bass boats heading for their fishing haunts, I was enjoying the cooling small breeze that drifted through the windows of our cabin.
Rainy Lake and Turtle Island have been our family’s source for renewal on just about every weekend from ice-out through to late October. A weekend at the cottage often is better than a week-long vacation.
Somehow being on the island ,with only the sound of chattering squirrels, busy body crows, and other assorted wildlife, is a calming influence. On windy days, the whistle of the wind through the tops of our red and white pines is a soothing sound.
Over time, trails have been created between the four cottages on the island. As a younger generation, the trails were beat down and a clear path had developed.
While two of the four cabins are actively used, the other two do not receive the visitors they once attracted. As such, the paths tend to grow over and now, instead of feet pounding down the grass and saplings growing up, power tools are used to keep the trails open.
But back in the centre parts of the island, the tranquility of the moment can catch you unawares.
Time spent watching a pair of loons teach their youngsters to swim and fish, or a mother duck leading her group of seven chicks along the shore, can be insightful and divert your mind from more worrisome problems.
Even watching the young Canada geese forage for grass on the shores of the walkway along the Rainy River, guarded over by parents, refreshes the mind.
Turtle Island, and many other islands on Rainy Lake, give a spiritual mental health break. Your mind can go to rest.
Time spent with nature, a new study reports, is important to maintaining good mental health. The study found that people who spend time in parks within cities or camping have lower levels of stress compared to those who have not been outside of cities.
The recently-published study in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” by Gregory Bratman, found that a walk through the lush green portion of the Stanford campus found that people were more attentive and happier than a similar group that strolled near heavy traffic.
The walk along the riverfront in Fort Frances, which was developed to make the waterfront attractive, probably has a healthier benefit for the community.
One benefits through exercise that a healthy walk provides. But the study suggests that a walk along the river, with its trees and water, is important for our mental well-being, as well.

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