Last week, my son and I went on yet another hike…. this time to a nature preserve not far from where we live. Surprisingly it was one we had never heard of. As we hiked the preserve, which ran along a beautiful creek, I thought about the woman the preserve was named after, Dr. Ora Phelps. Ora was born in the late 1800’s, a medical doctor by trade, who lived into her 90’s, and had climbed each of the 46 high peaks of the Adirondack mountains (each over 4,000 feet) TWICE during her lifetime. Quite an accomplishment! As I was walking, I found myself thinking of this incredibly strong woman with a passion for healing the sick, and such a connection to the outdoors… and was wishing that I could have known her. I would have liked to talk to a woman taking an unusual path in life for a female from her generation. Strong and independent, with a knowledge to heal people using her medical degree, and knowledge of a different kind as well I suppose. Having spent so much of her time outdoors I am guessing that Dr. Ora Phelps was also very much in touch with the healing power of this beautiful land I see before me.
This one’s for you, Ora. ~Rita