I am truly happy to be heading to the scenic south-east at the kind invitation of the excellent Wexford Walking Trail collaboration to facilitate four ecotherapy walks this November. Wexford is a county which I have many fond connections with.
On the 5th of November, I look forward to walking with a group in Courtown Woods in the morning and Ferns in the afternoon, whilst on the 12th of November the ecotherapy walks will be in Carrigbyrne and Lacken. (Booking your place is essential and to do so please contact Mary on 086 163334).
It is the intention of the Wexford Walking Trail organisation ‘to enhance the visitor experience and raise awareness of the quality, diversity and location of our trails’. This intention and ethos is of course ‘music to my ears’ as it helps to heighten our connection with nature and explore the bonds between not only ‘people and place’ but ‘human and other than human nature’. Many of the benefits of being outdoors in nature are fairly obvious in that it increases both our physical and psychological wellbeing but increased awareness and respect for all forms of nature is the essence of ecotherapy and ecopsychology.
As anybody who has sauntered their way through a pile of autumn leaves knows, there is a beautiful truth and honesty in nature and it so often encourages us to connect in with a more authentic version of ourselves. For all its beauty and magnificence, nature does not try to impress us humans, it is just…there. When we recall past wild winter storms, we are reminded that nature is harsh at times and may leave us acknowledging our own sense of fear and awe or perhaps evoke feelings of powerlessness when we are faced with its indiscriminate energy and might.
If we ignore the needs of nature or attempt to subjugate the ‘other than human nature’ that surrounds us, not alone do we cause untold harm to our planet but we do so at the cost of much of our own personal health and wellbeing. Why? Simply because as human beings we too are an integral part of nature.
I look forward to meeting you on our ecotherapy walks in Wexford and I could not agree more with Wexford Walking Trail when they suggest that we… ‘Let nature lead the way’.