I’ve spent as much time away from home as possible over the past few weekends in an attempt to reconnect with nature after a long winter indoors. One of my favourite places thus far has been Miramichi, New Brunswick.
The Miramichi River is one of New Brunswick’s best known waterways. It’s home to 20% of North America’s wild Atlantic Salmon and well-known for it’s fly fishing and local history.
It’s also the river that I studied for my Master’s thesis.
The Miramichi is one of those rare, unspoiled places. The waters are clear and habitats are varied, providing shelter for plenty of fish species. There are pebbly beaches to be enjoyed on hot summer days, and the countryside is green with foliage of all sorts. There are plenty of wildflowers, butterflies, and even the odd turtle – what more could a young ecologist ask for?
For me, the most wonderful thing about a day on the Miramichi is the peace and quiet. You can jump into a canoe and just float down the river, spotting Bald Eagles, Kingfishers, and plenty of ducks along the way. You can watch patient the fly fisherman as they wade along the river’s edges, or try to spot a lone fish swimming through the shallows. The evenings are quiet and free from the constant beeping of cell phones, although the bugs are likely to gnaw at any exposed bits of skin. It’s a place to reflect on what truly matters – and to get away from the annoying preoccupation with technology.
Spending the time away from home has given me perspective. I realize now that I don’t need to be constantly connected to the internet. This has lead to me to use my smart phone to snap photos and play music – enhancing the moment, rather than distracting from friends and family. I feel more at peace in nature, and I’ve even taken to swimming in what I might once have referred to “sketchy waters”.
It’s important to take time to slow down. To relax. To stop using the word “stress” for a weekend and reflect on what it was like before you’d encountered the need to schedule every moment of every day. There’s just something about the Miramichi, be it the lack of decent 3G and cell phone reception, or the beautiful scenery, that allows you to breathe freely.
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