If you like hiking, or simply taking a walk on a nature trail, the state parks and national forests in north Georgia are some of the best places to enjoy this activity. The state of Georgia does a fine job, with dwindling resources I am quick to add, with the access to natural resources it provides through the state park system. The trails vary in length and difficulty levels to accommodate almost any age and degree of fitness. Most parks have trails that are wheelchair accessible. The diversity of flora and fauna in the southern Appalachia is unmatched anywhere in the U.S. There are very few weeks out of the year where the weather makes outdoor exploration uncomfortable here. I have spent many hours wandering mountain paths through densely wooded countryside and have always come away restored.
The ribbon of highway that traces the rugged coastline south from San Francisco toward Monterey, California offers the traveler some of the most beautiful scenery in North America. You can close your eyes, put your hands behind your back, hold the camera and snap, and you will still get a photo worthy of any landscape picture calendar. The Pacific is breathtakingly blue, punctuated by white foam around the rocks that break its surface near the coast. The contrast of the pastoral countryside and soaring ridges against the seemingly endless watery horizon is dramatic. If you need to be reminded how small you are, this is a good place to start. This is one of those places that, for lack of better expression, speaks to my soul — moves me. I can’t imagine ever getting tired of seeing it.
If climate change resulting from human activities of burning fossil fuels and land clearing is all a hoax, then we have a whole lot of very corrupt scientists all around the world (about 1,300 of them). If it is true, then we are probably facing some dire consequences resulting from rising ocean levels, severe droughts, and wide-spread heatwaves. I’m not sure which scenario is worse. The anti-intellectualism that characterizes so much of the American population feeds the IGNORE-ance surrounding the issue. Unfortunately, it would appear that there are plenty of elected officials across the country who perpetuate this ignorance for fear of threatening the profits of some corporate sectors and disrupting certain segments of the economy. Scientists had to start using the phrase “climate change” to dispel a growing misconception that “global warming” meant that temperatures should be soaring at all locations on the planet as a result of the greenhouse effect, which is not what the term really means. Perhaps the current predictions about the effects of rapid climate change proposed by climatologists are off the mark; maybe they will have to adjust their theories (which is what good science is all about). Be that as it may, I will trust their theories over the agendas of politicians and the “common sense” opinions of the uneducated masses every day of the week and twice on Sunday. http://climate.nasa.gov/
My wife and I visited a church away from home this morning, primarily because we wanted to attend Episcopal service on Easter even though we were away from our own little parish. Unfortunately, it was apparent by the homily that the rector is arrogant enough to believe that his role is to defend Jesus against those who do not interpret the Bible the way he does, in a very literal sense. He was critical of two 20th-century Biblical scholars because they do not share his belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus. We later learned that this is only one of two churches in Georgia that belong to an association that focuses on literal interpretation of scripture and is defending “traditional” belief and practice. How sad to think yet another denomination of the Church has based its establishment as a reaction against other Christians.
The focus of Easter for so many Christians is resurrection, atonement, and eternal life. “Jesus is alive; therefore, I can live forever.” I don’t know that I can embrace that concept in literal terms anymore, but I do still hold on to hope. I don’t know what God is or if there is any existence for me after death. I don’t know if there is anything supernatural to believe in at all. But I do hold out hope that there is something more to me than body and consciousness; that there is some connection between me and the rest of the universe; that there is some force or intelligence that somehow brings all life together. I may not know what to believe, but in some ways, I do hope there is something to believe in.
Having both sons now over the age of 21 makes getting together a bit more entertaining. They so enjoy recalling foolish things I’ve said and done over the years. They laugh hilariously as they imitate my standard stock phrases and not-so-sage advice. And it’s certainly fun being able to have a drink or two with them. This Good Friday had a little bit of all those elements in a place that holds such good family memories for them — glad we could be together on such a beautiful day.
I have decided to start a personal blog, primarily for my own enjoyment and to satisfy the need and desire to write — observations, thoughts, questions, reviews, etc. I think this would be a good place also to write about travels, hikes, and similar excursions. I am doubtful that anyone will ever read these posts except me, but a web-based journal sounds like fun. As long as it is, I will continue. If it isn’t anymore, I will stop.
So let’s see . . .