Take a Walk
I took a walk the other day, through the tree covered trails that border campus. It’s a particularly vivid time of year to do this, the landscape dotted, albeit temporarily, in vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds that dance amongst the norm of brown and green. All still cling to the warmth of fall. For now.
I’ve welcomed these short journeys from my desk into the woods for over a decade. You don’t have to travel far from the College Drive Campus to feel like you’re quite removed from the pressure and stressors that sometimes come with college work.
We need that respite. We could all benefit from stepping away from the business of the day, even if only for ten to fifteen minutes, to breath in deeply the smells of nature. To hear the wind whistling through the trees. To see the beauty in the everyday world we often rush past to get to class, to meetings, to lunch, and then home.
Walking this path is not only great exercise and a fine stress reliever, but it’s also a lesson in taking time to stop and smell the roses. If you’re lucky, you may also cross paths with a deer. Be warned, though, the deer on this path sometimes get a bit too close for comfort.
My son calls the nature trail that parallels our Ashland campus “The Mysterious Path.” When I bring him to school with me, he always wants to explore out there. It has been the sight of countless adventures for us over the years, and has prompted more than a few creative, exciting stories for our Kid Explorers series in the Ashland Beacon’s Read Me A Bedtime Story column and on our ProfessorTheo.com podcast.
So if the demands of the soon-to-come end of term assessment become too much to bear, step away for a bit. Take a walk out on The Mysterious Path.
A three-time First Among Peers Teaching Excellence Award winner, Jonathan Joy has taught at ACTC for 11 years. He currently serves as Associate Professor of English/Writing for the college. Writing credits include 50 plays, 150 children’s stories, and dozens of attempts at poetry. Joy’s Read Me A Bedtime Story column for the Ashland Beacon won a 2020 Kentucky Press Association award. The children’s stories therein are also featured on the Professor Theo's Mystery Lab podcast (ProfessorTheo.com). Joy lives in Huntington with his wife, son, and dog.