I said I’d write here every day over the summer, and then I promptly went to Gatlinburg for vacation. Our cabin was supposed to be fitted with Wi-Fi, but I don’t think it was Apple compatible as it worked the first night, but didn’t work any day the rest of the time we were there, so I was unable to write for a bit.
While we were in the Smokies, my brother and I hiked up to see Ramsay’s Cascade. The hike was an eight-mile out and back loop from the base of the mountain to nearly the top. The trail guide said it gained something like 2000 feet in elevation, and the terrain was somewhat difficult, though certainly not impassable. The final half a mile was the most difficult both going up and coming down, because we had climb over boulders and they were a wee bit slippery. However, anyone in reasonable shape, given enough time could make it to the top and back out. It took us about four hours, and we even stopped a lot to take pictures. I would think most folks could make the trek in less than 8 hours.
Also while we were gone, I had some time to think about who I am and where this writing is going. I read a couple of books, some magazines, meditated, and spent time alone in my basement bedroom thinking about who I want to be. This summer will likely be a ten-week consideration of how my ideas of joy, grace, Christianity, and Buddhism can fit together to get me through the school year next year without sliding back into who I was at the end of the school year this year. I need to think a lot about my pedagogy and what’s important to me in the classroom, and I need to be open to finding inspiration in strange places, like Runner’s World Magazine and their special section about Boston. Even though I am nowhere near fast enough to ever qualify for Boston, the bombing and the ways in which it was handled still had a great impact on me.