"On a hill far away stood. . ."
Lyrics I remember from "The Old Rugged Cross," Evangelical United Brethren Hymnal. I frequently sang this song in worship decades ago. If you were Methodist or Baptist or a whatever, you sang it too.
Back to today: I'm now at a stage in which I can break away for a one-hour walk almost every day. Where do I walk?
Generally, I walk around the on Gettman Loop Trail, a Yamhill County heritage trail which snakes around the beautiful hill-and-dale perimeter of the Chehalem Glen Golf Course
But: here's a Problem: the rain. Not just that it rains. I live in the Pacific Northwest, U.S.A., alias duckville, so I don't mind walking on a rainy day. But I don't like mud on the trail. Much of the Gettman Loop traverses a grey clay surface, so the Gettman Loop trail isn't safe when wet. Very slippery. Plus, if I walk on that mud I'm bound to come home with clay mud clinging to the soles of my shoes and the cuffs of my jeans.
So, for rainy days I had to find an alternative to Gettman.
Solution: go up a hill instead down into a canyon?
Yes. So. . .on a walk a couple of weeks ago I found myself walking on a Newberg hillside street. Housing stretched out to the west but a grassy-and-forested hillside rose steeply from the east curb. And just above the curb, a park sign with a map. I read: Schaad Park Loop Trail. Maybe a fantastic find for me! It led up the hill.
Up the trail I went, exploring switchback after switchback. No clay mud! Wonderful. The spectacular view to the west improved as I climbed. I saw my own community a mile away to the west, and beyond it the wide valley, hillside vineyards, the forested hills of the Coast Range, and finally, the Pacific Ocean. Well, I couldn't see the ocean, of course, but I imagined it.
Why do I walk? One reason among others: it's a spiritual exercise teaching that Life Prevails.
Postscript: it's helpful to know that persons in other religious traditions find inspiration "on the trail." I recommend a read of a review of "Zen On the Trail" by Professor Chris Ives, then get the book.