It was a perfect day for hiking–almost. We didn’t anticipate the snow on the trail. It made for a slippery climb and a cautious descent. But we all had fun nonetheless with our company of hikers–those game enough for a five and a half mile hike with Jonathan on that fall afternoon . As often happens in Colorado, the weather was warm enough for shirt sleeves even though we trudged through ice and snow. But who noticed? We were all enjoying the company, talking, laughing, and taking in the gorgeous views. There’s nothing quite like nature to lift the spirits and cause the cares of life to dissipate for awhile.
Jonathan seemed happy to be on a hike with friends, although I observed that he was pensive at times as he worked to establish his place within the group. Sometimes he would take lead; other times he drew close to me, always attentive to where I was positioned amid the group. I enjoyed watching him interact with others–and others reach out to him. These were friends who came along as a gesture of caring and support as well as for the fun of hiking as a group.
At the end of the trail, we all shared our thanks for time well spent. Jonathan’s good friend, whom we affectionately call Dr. Graham, offered a fitting thanks to Jonathan for the day: “If you hadn’t invited me, I wouldn’t have come. And I wouldn’t have had all this fun, or exercise, or fellowship, or talking–intellectual conversations. So I’m very pleased. Thank you very much.”
“Welcome!” Jonathan replied as he gestured to his group of hiking friends.