One of my recent reads is Hilaire Belloc’s “The Path to Rome,” which is the account of his walking pilgrimage from southern France to Italy in the early 1900’s. Not a bad read, though I’m only midway through. But today it inspired me enough today to get off the couch and get outdoors. And I’m really glad I did.
I’d heard of Ragged Mountain Preserve in Berlin, Connecticut a while back, but I couldn’t have picked a better day to go. The sun was out, not a cloud in the sky, and as it was the first day above mid 40 in a few weeks, the hikers were out in force.
Maybe also from literary inspiration, I decided to ditch my camera for my sketchpad, thought maybe with mixed results as Ragged Mountain had some of the cooler rock formations I’d seen along the East Coast, and it would’ve been nice to get some camera shots in. One in particular caught my eye that the sketch really couldn’t do justice.
At about the one mile mark, I came across a memorial marker that was both heartbreaking and inspiring. It was a memorial to Darin Findley, an avid rock climber who died of a brain hemorrhage while scaling the cliffs in 2003. While reading the laminated note left by his mother, I was struck by her faith and perspective. I can only imagine dealing with the sudden death of a loved one like that has to be terrible, but her faith in God’s mercy and providence was beautiful to read. In the end, he died doing something he loved to do, and it’s hard to imagine a better fate than that.