I think that, more than ever these days, we all need a refuge. A sort of port in the COVID storm. My refuge (one of them, anyway) is nature.
Most every day, usually first thing in the morning, I go for a long walk through the woods. I take my time and try to fully immerse myself in the experience. Not only do I get fresh air and exercise but also a measure of peace and calm and quiet, which I can, hopefully, draw on later as I go about my day.
Looking to start your own nature adventures? WPL has a number of close-to-home hiking books:
- Grand River Country Trails (Main In Library Use only) by Katherine Jacob
- Grand River Country Trails 2 by Katherine Jacob
- The Grand Valley Trails Guidebook
- Waterloo, Wellington & Guelph Hikes
For adventures a little further afield check out:
- 110 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario
- Southern Ontario’s National Parks
- Nature Hikes: Near Toronto Trails and Adventures
- Ontario Provincial Parks Trail Guide
Something there for all tastes and hiking abilities!
Or you can read about walking in the woods, and from the comfort of your favourite armchair. Here’s a title I would highly recommend, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. (The book Wild by Cheryl Strayed recounts the author’s solo trek along the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s a great read, but I feel it focuses more on the author trying to come to terms with her troubled life than on the actual walk itself.)
In A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson is joined by an old school friend for a series of adventures and misadventures as they do an epic hike up the 2,000-mile-long Appalachian Trail in the eastern U.S. First of all, Bryson is a terrific writer. Anything he has ever written is worth a read. He’s also an oh-so-funny guy and there are plenty of LOL moments in this book. And goodness knows we could all use a little more laughter these days.
Walking in the woods, literally and literarily, has been a real refuge for me. I hope that you too have found a place or activity of refuge.
— Penny D.