Sunday, June 18, 2006


This spring marks the beginning of my new life. I retired in September (2005) and since then I have tried to stay active, in part, by hiking. I’m up to about 7 miles a trip, but have paid the price in aches, pains, and blisters. I could and may do more, if there is something of special interest at the end of the trail, but for now a good roundtrip hike is ideally around 5 miles.

Spring has matched my new lease on life by showing me its bounty of beautiful and varied wildflowers; signifying a new fresh start. The bounty has been especially good this year in the East Tennessee Mountains due to a wet late winter and early spring – really lush new green growth with contrasting vibrant colors.

I know that it’s up to me what I make of this retirement and, as of now; I am resolved to pushing through the oncoming pains of getting older to really enjoying myself. I have no desire, and for now, no need to ever work again. There is just so much out there to enjoy, and the least of them is hiking. I know of no other endeavor that offers you such peace as walking along quiet shaded little paths and feeling, as well as, seeing what God hath made – made personally for me to enjoy.

Oh, I know millions have probably walked the same paths before me, but have they really communed with it – smelled it – touched it? To me, as I walk along, it was just made the moment just before my eyes see it; just materializing around the next bend in the trail, and it’s all fresh and new and a gift made, with a personal touch, just for me.

I know it’s silly, but I often happen upon a little bird sitting on a nearby limb that seems to watch me and expect me to notice – to say hello. To me it’s God, in a form I’m not afraid of, waiting for me to thank. “Thank you God – thank you for what you hath made for me.”

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