Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Trekking the AT

A couple of my friends from the Tyoga Running Club are about to do something epic. Jesse and Erica are going to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail!

To be honest I’m a little jealous of all that they are about to experience as they begin Mile 0 in Georgia and make their way to Mile 2,200 in Maine! Surely while they are on the AT they will tap into the fullness of an experience that defies the ability of words to articulate. Living our best lives possible has something to do with living into community; not just with other people but with all the great variety of life forms that share this good earth. To experience this for the better part of a year sounds incredible. It also sounds incredibly challenging.

I hope they will be inspired by the spirit of adventure stirring within them, by the energy of the forest; all of its sights, sounds, smells and flavors.

I understand that they are about to embark on this adventure for a number of reasons:

Hiking for the health of it.

Crossing the AT off the bucket list.

For the challenge and the adventure.

During their adventure they will be blogging, but I wonder if the greatest artistic feat they will accomplish during their time on the AT will be that which they accomplish with their actual feet; as hiking boots press against a canvas of rock, mud, dirt, and stream.  Jesse and Erica, may you take only memories and leave only footprints.

All of this gets me thinking about a zest for life that many of us share. As great a feat that hiking the AT is, it may also be viewed as a microcosm of the adventure that we want all of life to become.  Maybe I should speak for myself. I want my whole life to be a great adventure.

I want to catch some inspiration as I follow my friends via their blog, as they experience this fullness of life in community with all that has life, as they find creative expression painting on a canvas of trail with muddy boots.

I long to paint on the canvas of trail with muddy boots too; but my experience will probably be limited to a day hike in the Pine Creek Gorge. And I want to paint on the canvas of life and of community with the things that matter most. I want to paint on the canvas of life and community with love; with many shades of love at that; shades of patience, kindness, forgiveness, joy, and strength.

I hope my friends do leave more than just footprints; as they travel by foot on their epic adventure I hope that the Creator of it all provides them with many opportunities to paint with many shades of love on the hearts of those whom they meet along the way.

Here is a link to their blog:

me with Jesse (middle) and Erica (right)

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