I recently visited Glenariff Forest Park, set in the beautiful Queen of the Glens of Antrim.
The highlight has to be the two mile circular walking route that takes you down to a couple of waterfalls. The return leg, though, puts a bit of strain on the lungs, but it is well worth breaking sweat for the stunning views, being surrounded by Mother Nature’s finest creations, and clearing the mind.
Standing on the viewpoint at the halfway stage, it’s impossible not to be impressed with the power of the water as it cascades from the upper ledge and plunges into the pool at the foot of the waterfall.
With all that violent energy, though, there is a sense of serenity. Ionised air fills my lungs, my ears are serenaded by soft rumbling, my eyes are treated to the myriad of reflections glinting off the water and damp surrounds.
For the ninety minutes it took me, Eileen and Maxx (my dog) to circumnavigate the route, it felt like there were just three of us in the world. Quite a magical time.
Such a difference from the hustle and bustle of the daily commute that I opted out of in November of last year. The only energy then was the rush of bodies hurtling up escalators and staircase to cut another few seconds off their journey to the office. The noise of trains and road traffic grated my ears, and the diesel-filled air irritated my lungs. I don’t think a rat would enjoy participating in its namesake race.
For those of you still enduring the daily commute, I highly recommend you spend a few hours a week out in the fresh air. There has to be somewhere close to where you leave that can provide a natural detox of the body and mind: a public park, a National Trust site, or a beach or riverside walk.
Don’t underestimate the good a quick metaphorical massage by Mother Nature can do for you.
“Just living is not enough… one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” Hans Christian Andersen