The elementary principal at Xenia called me to her office. As a student, that would have put fear in my heart trying to figure out which of the things I did had bubbled to the surface. But as the Academic Dean, my mind was at rest. The school is going through accreditation and I figured that she needed to provide some information regarding the on-campus visit taking place next week. It was a beautiful day – crisp and clear – and the short outside walk from my office to hers was so enjoyable. Just stepping outside and breathing fresh air is such good medicine to my soul. It was a little cold but the sun was smiling and the sky was reflecting blue. It was just a good day.
When I arrived at the principal’s office, she quickly handed me a plastic bag……full of money!!… coins and bills. With a smile on her face, she shared that her students has taken up an offering for my hike. I just love the wonderful spirit of my school. Students are sacrificing so other students can come. I think my smile out grinned hers as I accepted the bag with a heart of gratitude and humility. When I got back to my office I counted the offering – $98.36!! These gifts from the students mean so much to me – I find their buy-in amazing and I know that many of them are giving their own money because they love their school. These expressions of support will indeed support my tired legs and sore feet as I hike up and down the mountains.
The trail is 57 days away with tons of things to do before I leave. The weather next week is supposed to be a winter wonderland with snow, ice and slippery stuff. The possibility of ideal hiking conditions is not very good but it sure will allow me to appreciate the spring when it arrives. It might be a better week to complete my A.T. supply lists, my traveling agenda, and hiking gear. Look out REI – I may be coming your way.