The hike to Arthur’s seat was really great! I had a wonderful time although the incline proved to be pretty tough. I thought that the group leading did a great job and I know Sunny really tried to work around everyone’s needs and wishes. In Edinburgh I have seen so many diverse groups of people, especially at Pollock Halls. I think we have been traveling at the peak of tourist season, nevertheless I have been surprised at the international community that seems to constantly surround us. I really love the scottish heritage that the locals seem to be so proud of. It occurred to me on our walk up Arthur’s seat that the natural structure that we were climbing has a rich history of its own. People for generations and generations have been climbing up the small peak. The hike opened my eyes to the beauty of the surrounding area as well. I have been walking along the Royal mile for the last day but I hadn’t made it to the castle yet. I had no perspective for the relationship between locations, such as Pollock hall compared to the castle, or the ruins. Similar to the Wordsworth hike, I really felt a connection to Edinburgh and the scottish culture as well as a sense of timelessness when we were sitting near the Abbey ruins. I enjoyed hearing everyone’s reflections about the trip and the hikes and landscapes that I have seen through hiking over the past four weeks have been a big part of what has made this trip so special. I think that Arthur’s seat was a great hike to end the trip with and I would recommend it to anyone who visits Edinburgh. I really loved seeing how planning hikes and working as a team in general really plays on everyone’s strengths. While Sunny was very logistically inclined, I appreciated Telia’s historic insights and research on Arthurs seat. In addition I thought that it was fun that they chose to emphasize different aspects of the area such as the flora and fauna that Margaret had researched. I really do think that learning about a place before or while you are visiting makes the vacation more special and more memorable. I think part of the reason that school work was fascinating for me on this trip was because it was connected to things we could see around us. I loved how the literature we read had historical significance to the physical places that we visited. The breath taking view at the top of Arthur’s seat was more than a sufficient reward for the trek up. When I reach the top of the mountain like that I think of the significance of God meeting prophets on mountaintops. A mountain top seems so appropriate as a place for God to relay a message and display his glory. I also think of people like Emerson who loved nature and was infatuated with it and fought for land reserves and parks to be set aside in the U.S. , or Beatrix Potter who set bought land and set it aside for others to enjoy. This has been a wonderful trip and I will never forget these hiking experiences or the wonderful people who helped make them possible!!
google earth!! preparing for the trip.
I enjoyed learning about Abingdon and helping to plan the hike. I am so proud of our group and everyone on the hike for their good attitudes. It is awesome to finally do a group project where everyone in the group cares, and actively participates and helps. Leading a hike really opened my eyes to what it is like to have a large group depending on you, even if it is in such a small way. I enjoyed doing research on Abingdon beforehand and it helped me to appreciate the city for it’s unique, rich history.
Hold your breath!
I read a book in high school called Do Hard Things. The authors, who are twin boys, wrote the book when they were seventeen. Throughout the book they discuss leadership roles among young adults. They state that the word “teenager” is relatively new, as is the concept that accompanies it. Currently the lifestyle (as portrayed in the media and through pop culture) of the average teenager is this : living off their parent’s salary, generally complaining and being full of angst, getting into trouble and not being able to assume “real adult” responsibilities. The co-authors mention that previously there was no awkward middle (purgatory, if you will) of the a human’s life. A person was either considered a child or an adult. Most of our current teenage girls would be married off very young, to assume household and family duties. Men would begin working, if they hadn’t already been working as a child. What I am getting at is that teenagers and young adults should be given more responsibility. I have heard adults complain about kids as if they are super lazy or incapable of small tasks. Every time that I am put in a position of leadership or more responsibility than usual I feel the pressure but there is also a sense of ambition to finish the job and further satisfaction once the job has been done and hopefully done well. I think that when hard things come up and challenges are faced, that is when we learn the most about ourselves. Problem solving and learning about personal talents and limitations is essential to healthy intellectual and emotional growth.
Memorize the map! Turn this way and that. Look back, look back. Each footstep and turn makes a deeper impression than before, after one step of mine there are twenty-four more.
If everyday I awoke with the intention in mind to lead others with sincerity and meaning, how much more would my day hold? To serve others is a greater and nobler challenge than to serve oneself, I haven’t quite learned how, but I do know that to lead is to be a servant. Most times I believe there is no glory and little recognition for those who serve, but the job becomes a reward in itself, whether it be through discipline and a learned skill, humbleness, or a new appreciation for ways in which others have served you in the past without being acknowledged or thanked.
Let the one who first loved us, teach of humbleness, and of joy in the little things. Grant a grace filled heart for challenges that cannot be overcome without his loving spirit within us.
Friday the thirteenth and I don’t think there was anything unlucky about it. Twenty years from now I would like to remember the hike up the mountain to view Grasmere and the satisfaction of getting to the highest lookout point. The cool air was so refreshing after the hike up through the woods and fern with little visibility. The view was breathtaking and lunch was the perfect reward after the uphill trek. I hope that I never forget God’s majesty as revealed through the brilliant scenery we saw at Grasmere. Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy express an attachment to the land around the lake. Their love for the landscape is influenced by their joyful reunion and a new sense of finding their first true home. Although they both express a love for the landscape I think that a huge part of the care that they feel for the earth is derived from their love of each other and those around them. Just as Adam and Eve were meant to protect and cultivate the garden of Eden together, I think that in order to get all that we can from nature we must also be invested in our fellow human beings. I hope that when I look back to July 13th at Grasmere I remember laughing hysterically about something pointless with new friends, surrounded by the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen. I would like for this memory to serve as a reminder of the refreshing beauty that still exists in our world despite the seemingly mundane surroundings that I have become so accustomed to at home.
Walking up the path to Keenhill was wonderful! The scenery was breathtaking from the moment we arrived at Hawkshead. The rock walls and white cottages seemed to be unaffected and untouched since Beatrix Potter lived there, and even before her time. It was easier for me to relate to Wordsworth and Beatrix because I could picture them walking in the streets or the pasture. Wordsworth’s poetry was brought to life for me by the brilliant greens of the fields and trees. Wordsworth relates in his poetry that the natural world around him caused him to reflect and in a sense challenged him to be moral. He projects his feelings and thoughts on to the landscape around him, but he also implies that nature has an opinion and an impression of its own for each of us to interpret. Climbing up Keenhill gave me time to think and reflect. In a discussion about Tolkien in Oxford Christians we agreed that we can relate to many things described in The Hobbit because they are much like our own world. However, because there are differences in fictional worlds and our own,Middle Earth becomes fascinating and the reader is drawn in to examine it more carefully. Now going back to the hike on July 12, I was astonished by the majestic landscape, and I saw it as a different world because of it’s beauty and its differences from my everyday surroundings. I am extremely grateful to have seen the wonderful countryside with it’s rolling hills, sheep, and an assortment of small wild flowers. I hope that my examination and appreciation for beautiful surroundings here will inspire me to find the magnificence in the environment at home and in Waco.
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