|at Natural Bridge- Slade, KY|
What I enjoy about hiking is, of course the prize view at the top, but even the trek up and back down the trail. I usually have an adrenaline rush when I start on a trail and go till the incline starts to take my breath away then I question my stamina. As many of you know, when hiking you must be able to multitask and remain coordinated. I'm usually chatting with the person behind me, always in the lead because it makes me feel anxious being the last in line on a hike, with my eyes on the ground watching for the trolls (as my grandpa called them). Trolls are usually disguised as tree roots, rocks or uneven ground that snag your foot and cause you to fall on a path. With my eyes usually fixated on the dirt ground and all around me I am constantly observing detail along with partaking in conversation with my hiking buddy. Luckily on this particular day, I was paying extra attention.
I had forgotten how mesmerizing this moment was. I found a leaf that had fallen in the most peculiar way on a dirt path up to Natural Bridge. It was laying all by its lonesome, split in half, with one side flipped revealing its "underbelly". I was puzzled by how it could have landed in this manner. Maybe a fellow hiker had manipulated its fall? Maybe it was kicked up by some hiking boots? Maybe it broke off of a tree limb and the wind tore it on its way down? Maybe it was a some sort of message or a marking spot? For some odd reason I felt as thought I was suppose to notice this little neat leaf while others probably passed it by. The tear in half seemed to perfect and it looked like the two halves had been pieced together. The contrasting greens were eye catching. It was beautiful and delicate. I was so tempted to pick it up and understand it more, but instead I left it, it needed to stay put.
You can take this story and interpret it in any outlandish way that you'd like. But I hope you take the time to look down at the ground or up in the sky to find a moment of inspiration when you least expect it. I think this was a sweet reminder for me and where I am at in my senior thesis process.