The day was neither pleasant nor the landscape remarkable where I was in western Kentucky this Monday. Dreary, damp, and unsettlingly warm for early February. Even the locals found it worrisome. We were at loose ends with less than an hour before a brief but obligatory meeting that had brought us to this out of the way place. A sign just down the road from the Huddle House chain restaurant where we'd breakfasted indicated "Scenic Overlook", an arrow pointing down a side road leading through a break in the trees lining the highway. We followed it a mile to a mostly empty parking lot and a nondescript park next to the serrated edge of a wandering lake, and decided that a short walk was better than sitting gloomily in the car with nothing to do. An asphalt paved path disappeared over a slight rise into a barren woods. We followed it.
Winding along the edge of a small promontory, the path took us across the lakeside brow of a rocky cliff, trees and bushes clinging above the grey waters, a fall of thirty feet. Our destination turned out to be a cracked concrete pad with a wooden bench and a low stone wall in front of the drop, with a "No Diving" sign and a view of an old prison compound across the lake, partially occluded in mist. The scenic overlook was less than breathtaking. Still, I've found that there's always something to see if I simply leave any expectations behind. I sat down, opened my sketchbook, and focused closer.
There was not much time, but when is there ever? We work with what's in front of us, and make the best of it. Not everything worthwhile is revealed in a glance. And always, even on a bleak day, there's opportunity for progress.