A few years back, there was a book called Bowling Alone and it talked about how we are becoming less community-minded and more individualistic in our lives. I whole-heartedly agree *except* in the case of seminary here in Sewanee. We are so community-minded, and it's such a good, supportive thing, but I often have to remember how to do things alone. Now that the kids are in school, I've discovered hiking alone. Everytime we take the kids on a hike, I think about how nice it would be to come back sometime and hike by myself and enjoy the sounds and sights of nature without having to worry about someone falling off a cliff. But of course, that never really happens. Mostly because if we're going to hike, we *want* the kids to come explore with us (and get really worn out!).
Well today after dropping the kids off, I was all dressed and ready to go workout at the gym, and I found myself taking a detour to one of the trails that surround campus. As appealing as it sounds, I've always been kind of scared by the idea of hiking alone. I mean, what if I get hurt somehow...get bitten by a black widow, snake, rabid skunk, etc? I know I should always take my cell phone in case anything happens, but I wasn't really prepared today. So I decided to just try one of the less extreme trails. I picked a trail that runs through the woods along the length of a road that leads to the War Memorial Cross (or "the big cross" as the kids call it). It's about 3/4 of a mile to the cross, and then you get to take in the beautiful view of the town below before turning around a heading back to the start of the trail. From the cross, there are many options for continuing on the Perimeter Trail, but for today I decided to take it easy and just do the mile and a half roundtrip back to the car. It was uneventful(no injuries, just a few spiderwebs to walk through), fun, and just challenging enough to make it feel like a workout. Also, since the trail is pretty mild, I was able to run some parts of it. So, I think I've found a new hobby for the mornings I don't have kids or other obligations. And mom, I promise to bring my cell phone next time, because I know you're worried now. :)