Monday, October 13, 2008

What were we thinking?

Sure, it's all fun and games when you're setting up a tent in the backyard, but really who wants to go traipsing along the Applachian Trail in late October? Well, apparently my marathoner friends do and I got sucked in with them.
So, we leave on Thursday. We'll drive 8 hours then walk 27 miles over the next three days before we drive back home.
I am not someone you can picture camping. I'm not a wimp, but you don't really think of me as an outdoorsman or woman. I like early morning runs, but I've never been one who enjoys watching worms wriggle in the dirt or dissecting scat found in the woods. Now I'll be the one with my bright orange shovel, digging a hole and leaving my own deposits.
I feel guilty about going. I've been trying to finish grading papers because I'll be away from my needy online students for four days. I've found subs for my "live" classes. As for my three children, Grace has a concert Thursday night and they are all off school on Friday. My husband, of course, must work Saturday too this week. That leaves my children home alone on Friday and Saturday. So, I'm torn. Should I skip the hike to oversee the children? Should I skip the hike and avoid using a shovel in the woods?
As I pondered my ambivalence, I received a call to fetch my basketball-weary son from practice. I walked out to the car and an ivory-colored butterfly flew along beside me. I opened the door to the convertible and there, in the middle of the driver's seat, was a yellow oak leaf. Nature beckons and tries to reassure me. I guess I'll go and watch the full moon wane.

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