I just got back yesterday from a week long vacation to the mountains. I thought of the irony that during spring break people from all over the southeast come to my area in Florida to go to the beach and soak in the sun while my family and I escaped to the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. And that leads to my fourth and final thing in my “Things That I Love” series… the outdoors. I love being outside. Rain or shine, cold or hot, being out in God’s beautiful creation is so comforting to me. My favorite activity outdoors is hiking and that’s just what we did on this vacation.
What started out as low temperatures at the higher elevations turned into 12-14 inches of snowfall and my first chance at hiking in heavy snow. I can’t even describe how beautiful and quiet the woods were. Our pace was slow, only about a mile an hour, but that gave me time to admire the trees covered in the soft flakes and the amazing views in the distance of the low-hanging clouds blanketing us with fresh snow. No doubt it was cold. A wind chill of about 9 degrees kept us bundled up for the day, but our souls were warmed experiencing God’s wonderful creation. We even met some Appalachian Trail thru-hikers on their quest to hike to Maine and I was, I must admit, a bit jealous that they were spending the next five months hiking and seeing some of our majestic country.
Now I’m back in Florida, writing this piece while sitting on my front porch soaking in a warm and sunny spring day and I can’t help thinking of how lucky and blessed I am to be alive and able to enjoy this world God has given me. God sure is good!