The 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, glimmered hope of bringing the troops home from chaotic war efforts in Vietnam when he prematurely offered in the early 1960s: "there's light at the end of the tunnel."
The saying, although not of the president's pen, was popularised because of his world standing.
I found myself in a tunnel this week with family and friends. The Derby Tin Mining Tunnel is an amazing section of the Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails.
The Examiner's former deputy editor Zona Black wrote of the tunnel in 2017 before access was granted.
"It was built in the late 1800s to wash away tailings from the mine. It was the means to an end of a feud between three companies who couldn't decide how to dispose of the by-product.
"So one mine's management took it upon themselves to drill through the granite to make a tunnel, and that was that," Ms Black wrote in 2017.
In the North-East, granite is even more common than potatoes, although the former is far more difficult to dig.
Blue Derby has been a revelation for the small mining town and, although not receiving 100 per cent support from locals, it continues to inject much needed economic stimulus into historic towns of the region.
Derby's "there's light at the end of the tunnel" appeared in the form of two wheels. The collapse of the forestry industry and food manufacturing left regional towns across Tasmania struggling and in need of new ideas and new ways of thinking.
Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails, Maydena Bike Park, West Coast MTB Trails and the soon to open, Blue Tier to Blue Seas, St Helens have been important for survival.
Accessing the Derby Tunnel comes at the end of green, blue and a section of difficult black trails.
On a misty morning, encircled by man-ferns and temperate rainforest, it is like being on a dark ride at a theme park; not quite so fast but just as exhilarating all the same. The endorphins flow as you exit the tunnel into the light.
A much different "there's light at the end of the tunnel" experience, but it did make me reflect upon the need for positive thinking and optimism. Mental Health Week was prominent during the past seven days with "The purpose to engage communities in activities that promote mental health and wellbeing and also raise awareness and understanding about mental illness, and how it impacts on the lives of people in our community."
For those challenged by mental health conditions, "there's light at the end of the tunnel" must, at times, feel so desperately far away; perhaps even indistinguishable.
Help is accessible with organisations such as Headspace, the Mental Health Council of Tasmania, Beyond Blue, the Black Dog Institute, SPEAKUP! Stay ChatTY, and RUOK Day providing much-needed support and advice. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go even though the importance of mental wellbeing is more thoroughly understood and accepted than ever before.
One in five Australians will suffer a mental health condition during their lifetimes. The North-East of Tasmania has an even higher prevalence, per capita, of challenges.
It is arguable that many of these conditions have existed for decades. The difference, thankfully, in modern-day, doctors and health care professionals are better at diagnosis.
If we consider the impact of Blue Derby Mountain Bike Trails from an economic point of view to measure success, we should also consider their positive impact from a community, mental, physical and social health perspective. Not everyone needs a mountain bike to acknowledge the light, however pedal power has the impetus to drive the sustainability of our historic, fiercely proud, parochial and much-loved local towns with the mental health and wellbeing of family and friends the most important success story.
"There's light at the end of the tunnel" is not just a saying, it is a way to view our lives. Sometimes it can seem so far away but when it comes into view the reward is contentment and happiness.
- Brian Wightman is a former Tasmanian Attorney-General and school principal.