20090628-IMG_0016_7_8 HDR
Fort Knox Trail, Hardin County, KY

Trail beside stream,
Fragrant pine.
Rocky red earth,
Steep mountain.

Walking may be a good metaphor for spiritual life, but there are
times when simple hiking is literally the best activity. When one walks
in the woods or climbs mountains, there is a wonderful unity of body,
mind, and spirit. Hiking strengthens the legs, increases stamina,
invigorates the blood, and soothes the mind. Away from the madness of
society, one is freed to observe nature’s lessons.

Erosion. Gnarled roots. The carcass of a dead deer. A flight of
swallows. The high spirals of hawks. Bladed reflections of rushing
water. Just budding bare branches. Gray rock, cracked, shattered, and
worn. A fallen tree. A lone cloud. The laughter of plum branches. Even a
little circle of rocks beside the trail — who put them there, or did
any hand arrange them, and no matter which, what are the secrets of that

There are a thousand meanings in every view, if only we open
ourselves to see the scripture of the landscape.

Text from 365 Dao by Deng Ming-Dao

Scotts Gap Red Trail
Jefferson Memorial Forest, Scott’s Gap Red Trail


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