One of my favorite pastimes is hiking. However, as time goes by, I find it increasingly more difficult to motivate myself to participate in this activity that I have treasured all my life. Sadly, I think it is less the lack of time and more my own complacency that has created this problem. And I am never as aware of my forfeiture as when I actually go hiking and am reminded of the beauty and exhilaration it evokes.
The extended Labor Day weekend provided ample time for extra-curricular activities beyond loading the dishwasher and mowing. Especially since loading the dishwasher is still more of a learning activity for me as I can't seem to get it right. Regardless, the extra day brought friends to our door from out of town and we opted to go hiking Sunday morning.
So, at 8:30 in the morning five of us stood at the trailhead of Vanhook Falls at the junction of 192 and KY 1193. The air felt just cool enough to motivate a steady pace and remind us that autumn is on its way. As we entered into that green canopy-covered forest the temperature cooled even more, and another world erupted in front of us. I immediately felt glad we had decided to take this venture.
As a result, we walked for hours through valleys, up cliff ledges, past small concealed waterfalls, and over creek beds longing for rain but lined with glowing green moss and hidden pools. We also crossed two wooden bridges, one spanning Cane Creek just before the falls. We stopped here for a breather on a nice rock plateau that bordered the healthy creek.
At the beginning of the trip, we had wisely predicted we probably wouldn't make it all the way to the main falls; however, as our little party wondered through the green, the effort did not seem as daunting, and in the end found ourselves sitting on a nicely crafted bench created to view the falls.
Recently we have been to Oregon, a state I truly love for its giant trees and breathtaking landscape. However, I found Sunday something akin to an old friend, with a grandeur just as inspiring as any I have seen elsewhere.
In retrospect, as I sit here at my desk and feel good about the weekend, I wonder why my hiking trips have slowed. Sometimes I marvel at how I forget the potency of my delight for something simple and am only reminded when I revisit that thing again, sometimes by chance.
Reflectively, while going over my notes on how to load a dishwasher, I wonder what else I have let slip to the wayside. Often in class, I tell my students not to waste their time. I bark, "You have ten more minutes -- knock out another paragraph." If life is a classroom, how many minutes have we wasted not creating that perfect work? While I appreciate summer, I truly think autumn is the time of nostalgia and new paragraphs.
Brian Theodore is a language arts teacher at Corbin High School and lives in Corbin with his wife, who is also a teacher at CHS. He can be contacted at Theteachersdesk.email@example.com.