When the Creative Spirit Has Its Way

Due to a late breaking work schedule, I was delighted to see a favorable weather forecast for a weekend I would be “off work”.  (There is no greater blessing for an outdoor adventure enthusiast than a “sunny with a gentle breeze and lots of sunshine with optional shade” setting.)

I love spontaneous adventures, and even more so when friends not seen for a while plan outings where our paths cross.  I’ve lived in Kentucky on and off for 8 years, and yet never seemed to find the time or company willing to go to Arts Festivals or other events of interest, apart from a more familiar trail some continue to tackle with a singular focus.  Today the event was in Berea.  Free to make my own choices, I took the opportunity to venture out for a day with my dogs, Willey and Tilley.  We’d hoped to hike the Pinnacles, but due to excessive rain and muddy trails, the hiking option there was “closed” for the weekend.  No matter.  What a delight to enter the gates of the Berea Craft Festival where music could be heard and artisans eagerly talked about their crafts.  It was a piece of heaven on earth milling around the straw and wood chip pathways, visiting various booths and casually conversing with others who’d come out for the weekend festivities.  Willey and Tilley found the shade and extra attention of “can I pet your dogs” people, as agreeable as bounding up woodland paths.  Bluegrass and gospel musicians played and sang, followed by the spins and skips of youthful folk-dancers in home-made costumes.

Crossing paths with a friend met on previous year’s hikes, who was out with two younger generations of her family, led to an impromptu hike of Anglin Falls, just “a little ways away” by back-country navigational standards.  (It was actually past several turns, up a hill, down some curvy narrow roads, and into an overgrown parking area with a hand drawn sign that led us to the beautiful pathway up to the locally known falls.)  It was a joy to see other people, young and old, enjoying the shaded forest pathway leading to the waterfall’s gentle cascades and refreshing sprays.

On the drive back to “home base”, I took a different route, stopping at a Civil War Battlefield in Richmond, KY.  Walking the grounds and pausing to read historical markers,  I was reminded of civil unrest that once tore our nation apart, and considered how peaceful and beautiful the setting now appeared.  Saying a silent prayer for current events to have a similar ending, I called for my dogs to jump back in the car after a drink of water. Driving a little slower along the back roads,  I considered how the impromptu day’s events had unfolded with a natural rhythm that was leaving a spirit of peace within me.

May you too be blessed with the calming effect of encountering friends in new or familiar places, the unexpected challenge of detours, and small, spontaneous adventures that make going back to our daily work schedules “worth it”.  When the Creative Spirit has its way, maybe then it will restore, establish, and strengthen us to become individuals in the context of communities, and finally the nation we were meant to be….. at its best.

 

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