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Abitibi-Témiscamingue: A gem of nature to explore

I live in a boundless world of freshwater crisscrossed with lakes and rivers providing a profusion of waterways. I live on a land of plains sprinkled with hills to its north and scenic valleys to its south. I breathe amidst a land that is still home to large stretches of mature forests, where I am greeted by hundreds of spruce trees nodding their belonging to the boreal forest, where I am embraced by the needle-covered arms of majestic white pines rising towards deep blue skies. I live in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and I have an insatiable thirst for adventure and open spaces. To unwind, I need to immerse myself in the forest. Nature has a magnetic pull and has a direct influence on my mood, behavior and emotions. Nature is where I can loosen up, relax and enjoy moments of pure pleasure. It gives me the breathing space I need to keep my balance. I am a true canoe and kayak enthusiast. Paddling across the clear water of Kipawa Lake for a few days allows me to live fully in the present moment, away from obligations, and to enjoy every little discovery I make along the way: a charming narrow bay, an inviting sandy beach, a small rocky island, the sweet, gentle song of a choir of loons. Wilderness gives me that rare feeling of freedom. When I sit down on a bed of pebbles, with my feet in the water, my head bathed in sunlight and my eyes fixed on the shore, I realize that my gaze widens when away from my cell phone screen. The magic of the forest, so serene, so beautiful, has unexpected and beneficial effects on my health. Getting out of my house to walk and climb the Opasatica trails and rock outcrops makes my day.  I optimize the effectiveness level of a walk on flat terrain when I do this activity in a natural environment within ten minutes from home. Whenever I watch the idyllic landscape that seems to stretch forever, my eyes feast on the rich colors around me, and my sense of smell becomes excited and joyful. I can feel the emotions entering me, so strong, so intense, and I think to myself that all these large bodies of water, this ocean of forests, the distant profile of Mt. Cheminis and Mt. Lion, the wind and the sun cannot get more invigorating than this. Nature influences my determination to make things happen. It prepares me to return to civilization and carry on with my projects.