The Trail

Beckoning, inviting, encouraging
Beneath a canopy of sheltering trees
Against the resistance of the mountain
To an incomparable vista
The trail climbs
And challenges muscle, heart and lungs
And gives back
Solitude, peace, perspective
I wonder
Five thousand years ago
Who traveled through these dense woods and climbed this mountain
In search of renewal and solitude and peace
And I wonder
Five thousand years from now
If mankinds’ love for violence and fear for safety
And fascination with guns of all kinds
Will permit descendants of mine
Who will never know who I am
To exist
And walk as I am gifted to do now
On a trail
To see the world beneath my feet
And be refreshed by a canopy of sheltering trees.

About Olson Huff, MD

Olson Huff is a pediatrician, author, husband, father of three sons and grandfather of four dynamic and growing grandchildren. Often described as a visionary leader and eclectic thinker, his efforts have always been to acknowledge the power, value and delight to be found in ALL children. As a pediatrician he has used his skills as a clinician to provide healing, as an author his words to reveal the spirit of children and as an advocate to plead their case from the state house of politics to the White House of policy changes. His vision is that ALL children will have the very best start in life from their earliest years of development to the brightness of the future they aspire to shape. He believes ALL children have a right to affordable, quality health care, clean and safe environments and homes that cherish their presence.
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24 Responses to The Trail

  1. Judy says:

    You have certainly captured the essence of hiking in the Blue Ridge and our place in the universe. It is beautiful.

  2. Jane Holt says:

    How beautiful and true this is. In addition, it inspires us to conserve, respect, and preserve these beautiful mountains which surround us for future generations to enjoy. Jane

  3. Jan says:

    We awake to the trail of a new day. Thank you for this trail of hope for today and for the decendents to come to walk this sheltered challenging trail.

  4. jfoxv says:

    We awake to the trail of our day. You have given us the sheltering trees to protect us as we walk through the dense woods of the day to solitude and peace.
    Thanks, Olson

  5. Louise Hurt says:

    I thought of our Beautiful Eastern Kentucky mountains as I read this and the trail to the cemetery
    where our ancestor are buried.
    Love you

  6. Olson, no mountains in western Kentucky but I wonder these same things just the same. Wonderful poem. Much love to you.

  7. Jay E Berkelhamer says:

    Beautiful Olson! Thank you for sharing. Jay

  8. Molly Droge says:

    Thank you, Olson, for this lovely gift of a poem on Labor Day morning. I read it to Mike as we sit side by side at our respective computers on the bluffs of the Missouri River where we, too, are protected by a canopy of sheltering trees. Unfortunately, we are missing the solitude, peace, perspective, reflections and incomparable vistas, which we find in New Mexico when we visit there…though not often enough.

    We have so many reasons today to worry about future generations in this increasingly threatening and threatened world….who could have imagined what life would be like now just 100 years ago, and how can we predict what life will be like for the baby born today if she survives the next one hundred years? My hope and vision is that the decision-makers in our country and around the world consider the well-being and the future of children with every decision they make. It would certainly make the world a much safer and less threatening place to live. Thank you for your wisdom and thought-provoking communications. Molly

    On Sun, Sep 1, 2013 at 7:25 PM, Olson Huff, MD

  9. Cecil Jividen says:

    Beautiful, friend. Jealous of your experience. Cecil

  10. James Jones says:

    Olson, most if not all of us have wondered these but none have the skills that my friend has in converting question to words to ponder as we walk along the path. Thank you my friend for bringing us back to the wonder of how the past relates to the future. Thank you for reminding us of our responsibility to those who follow.

    Jim Jones

    • Jim, yes. What we do today, perhaps even to a piece of trash on the roadside will affect in profound ways the future. I fear for our civilization that is so obsessed with violence. Thank you for your comments


  11. Tom Sullivan says:

    Olson I am inspired by your words so relevant to us all on life’s journey. I will share it with families as we discuss life’s transitions. Your words are a blessing.

  12. George Engstrom says:

    Olson, You never cease to amaze me with your writing and speaking skills` that allow you to share the wise and profound thoughts in you mind. I still think that if you offered a prayer at my funeral the heavenly hosts would be so awed that my passage through the Pearly Gates would be immediate


  13. Dawn Michele (Hamblin) Ramirez says:

    I just recently read this and noted it was posted on the day before we buried my father (Aaron Hamblin) in the (Milam) family cemetery on the top of a mountain near Krypton, KY. I believe you know the area. I believe my dad would have enjoyed this poem because of it’s content and because it was written by you. Although I’ve never met you I’ve heard many stories from my dad and know he respected you very much. I am glad I stumbled upon this blog and this poem. God Bless.

    • Hello, Dawn and nice to connect with you; your dad was a wonderful man and one with a generous spirit. We kept in touch through the years, remembering our beginnings in the mountains of eastern Kentucky and the heritage of our pioneer ancestors. I am sorry I was not able to attend your dad’s funeral but my brother Lloyd and his wife were there.
      Best to you and keep me posted on what you are doing!

  14. John LaMotte says:

    Dear Olson: I write on behalf of the Biblical Perspectives Sunday School Class of Black Moutain Presbyterian Church to invite you to give us a presentation on “What Is Happening

    On Sun, Sep 1, 2013 at 8:25 PM, Olson Huff, MD

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