Updated: Jun 10, 2020
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day."
Closure of the Blue Ridge Parkway during the winter is normal. It usually closes sometime in November with the forecast of snow at higher elevations and reopens in March when the threat of snow is gone, and the road is clear. Hikers and cyclists frequent the parkway on sunny days during the closure.
So, to have the parkway closed in May for the pandemic is exceptionally unusual. However, with stay-at-home restrictions lifting, it will be open soon. Today is cool but clear and sunny, so the dogs and I took advantage of the closure for a hike from the Cold Mountain Overlook to Pounding Mill Overlook, about a three-mile round trip.
The Creep of Spring
The advantage of walking the parkway versus driving is that you have the opportunity to take in the view and all of the small details missed at 45 miles per hour. This portion of the parkway is hardwood forest, and in the winter, they have all lost there leaves as you look out in any direction you see a continuous shade of brown. Today you could see spring creeping up the valley in an ombre of green as the trees leafed out.
One of the advantages of walking the parkway, it provides a safe opportunity to let the dogs run off-leash. Their joy in being able to run full speed up the road and then back again when called is contagious. It always brings a smile as I watch them zig and zag across the road as they check out new sents. And, it puts a bounce in my step also. This time I managed to catch Zorro with all four paws off the ground.
On a day like today, it’s easy to choose to be happy. I’ll hold this day as a reminder on a day where joy doesn’t come as easily.
When have you chosen joy?