Monday, September 5, 2016

A Walk in the Woods With My Pal, Sarabeth

Sarabeth in the crook of a tree she climbed.
Limbering up.
There is little that invigorates me like a late summer hike on a lush mountain trail, a  soaring waterfall and the companionship of one in the fullness of life, unspoiled by experience, hopeful, exuberant, rose-colored glasses on full bright.

My young friend Sarabeth Hammond and I tackled the Bottom Creek Gorge Trail at the confluence of Roanoke and Floyd Counties yesterday and the conversation crackled with wit and deep thought, chat about communications devices and exercise classes, religion vs. spirituality, home school vs. traditional school, writing and art, theater and the grind of a job, friends and lovers, marriage and aman cara.

I always learn from this bright young woman and I am constantly invigorated by her energy, her courage her sunny outlook--even on the cloudiest of days.

Many of you know that Sarabeth, who is on the verge of turning a year older, has suffered with Lyme's disease since she was 12 and this isn't just
passing Lyme's. It is chronic and permanent, enough to dim the prospects of a saint. But Sarabeth laughs in its face, defeats it occasionally, deals with its arthritis and constant hospital stays, the need for an insert on her upper chest where the needles are affixed so she can take her meds.

She is going through a good period now, but nobody can project how long it will last. She says the bad days will return, but she'll enjoy the good ones while she has them.

I love this kid.

Here's where we're going.
At the falls overlook, where the light is tricky.
Chatting with Tammy and Frances, whom we ran into near the falls. They were going to the bottom of the falls.
Sarabeth investigates an old cabin ruin.
Just passing shadows.
One step at a time.

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