The Appalachian Trail near Pearisburg, Va., pullulated with through-hikers today, until the afternoon rain set in. Everyone heading north, two months or so into their trek. One particularly pensive, another looking for a party, and a couple interested in telling me all about their breakfast.
“You don’t get an indulgence for hiking the Appalachian Trail, like you do for completing the camino to Campostella,” my priest friend commented to me. “Well…I think if you offered the hike to the Lord as a sacrifice, He would be pleased.” “How very ecumenical of you.”
Praise God, I have covered a few miles of the Appalachian Trail in my days… In northwest Massachusetts. Maryland. Harpers Ferry, WVa. Northern Virginia. Near Charlottesville. Pretty much every way you can hike it anywhere near Roanoke (which is a lot of ways). Further southwest, too: Damascus, Va., and a few miles in North Carolina, years ago…
What if we didn’t have the Appalachian Trail? If it didn’t exist? God save us.
Here’s an old favorite of mine by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. Came to mind because our Holy Father will soon give us an encyclical about caring for the environment.
I wore the cassette down to ribbons listening to this album. (Scenes from the Southside) The Church has been an environmentalist since way before this song came out (in 1988).
P.S. Totally on the USA Women’s World-Cup bandwagon, thanks to the world-famous WorldCupSoccerDad, who works at Roanoke Catholic School!
News from Brooklyn: Hoyas beat top-20 UCLA Bruins, advancing to the championship game of the non-tournament Legends Classic tournament. Which means we play currently-AP #1 Indiana Hoosiers tonight at 10:00 pm!
…Rooting through a few old things, I found a sonnet from last year’s parish-clustering negotiations. I think the loopy pastor may have written it:
How do I love the cluster? Let me count
the ways, like Will Shakespeare of old would do.
The first: a five-speed, four-wheel steed to mount
and burn the road between the parishes two.
The second? These two fine towns to explore:
Both Piedmont villes, of character diverse.
In one, lake and farm folk both shop the stores.
The other is the NASCAR hero’s nurse.
Throughout the rolling counties, I descry
fertile fields for the sewing of the seed,
and a band of eager discipulae,
attentive to our Church’s every need.
O Lord, how great You are in every act!
May we, like You, great many souls attract.
Which reminds me that a few ridiculous poems have appeared here. I herewith collect links for your possible amusement.
G’town Hoyas 08-09-season Sonnet
Woes, Rues, Lamentations
Assumption Day on the beach
Jennifer Ehle’s Voice
Behind McAfee’s Knob (scroll down)*
On the Silver Surf
For St. John Vianney
For Pope St. John Paul II
Dog Decembers (for a warm Christmas)
Three Silences (Holy Saturday)
*I defy anyone to come up with a location on earth where a person can take in a more magnificent vista than can be taken in on McAfee Knob, in Roanoke County, Va. Perhaps other prospects equal it. Perhaps. P.S. FYI: More miles of the Appalachian Trail in the state of Virginia than in any other state! More than 500. No other state comes close.