Red River Gorge-ous!

Greetings from the Red River Gorge, in Kentucky!
After a fun visit with my cousin and her family in St. Louis, I drove (in the blustery winds) to Kentucky. This place has been very special to me since I was child, but I have never been here in the winter. I was keeping my expectations low, since I am in love with all the lush vegetation. 

BUT, it is just as charming and delightful in the winter as it is in the summer. And, perhaps, all the steep climbs are a bit easier when you are a cooled. My phone tells me I climbed the equivilent of 62 flights yesterday. I am about to go out do some more climbs. The rock walls, gurgling streams, GREEN!, stunning views at the tops of the climbs, and all are calling me. I battled the slow internet to get a bunch of pictures to post, so that you can get a hint of what I am experiencing. 

As I hiked yesterday, I was thinking of all the many times I had been to this place . . . the times as a kid, the times with my kids, the healing times (after breast cancer surgery, and after lymphoma treatments), alone and with friends and family . . . this place keeps calling me back. It reminds me of my recent studies of Shin-rin Yoku, or Forest Bathing. The presence of the trees and the space feels healing and nourishing. I was also noticing that although I feel out of shape, I have less aches and pains that I have had in the past. I have been working hard to straighten out this body that wants to bend and misalign with my loose ligaments. And the memories of hiking and climbing before, what it felt like, was a nice testimony to the idea that things are improving. I left the day feeling that I am restoring my body and my soul as I breath in the rich air of this place. 

Radio message at the end of the Writer's Workshop, out of Moorehead Kentucky is a perfect thing for me to meditate on during the Sabbatical. 
"Write it on your heart, that ever day is the best day of the year."


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