The test of an adventure is that when you are in the middle of it, you say to yourself, "Oh, now I've got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home." And the sign that something is wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure. -Thornton Wilder

The nice thing about being confused is you get a chance to notice things a lot better than if you knew where you were going.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Words to Live and Die By


Last Saturday, three days after Christmas, a man woke up in the morning, ate his breakfast, loaded up his mountain bike and drove over to Annadel Park for a ride.  He frequently rode in the park usually with friends from his cycling club.  This day though he was riding with his son.  They stopped several miles into the park at the picnic table junction of Canyon and Marsh trails.  There a friend rode up and they chatted for awhile.  As his friend was readying to leave for Buick Meadow the man reminded him, "Do what you love for as long as you can.  You never know when it will be your time".  After his friend peddled away, the man and his son got on their bikes and continued up the long arduous rocky climb of Marsh Trail.  It wasn't much later the man suffered a heart attack and died.  Mark Harrington was 63 years old.

I didn't know Mark, but his death has been with me all week.  I learned he had had a heart attack at the beginning of 2013 while out riding his bicycle.  He recovered from that and continued doing what he enjoyed most in a place he loved.  I told my wife that if anything ever happened to me while up in the park, whether I was riding my mountain bike, jogging the trails or doing a simple hike with my camera, know that I loved what I was doing in a place I held dear to my heart.  Be happy for me, not sad.




  

14 comments:

  1. that's a good philosophical belief John

    ReplyDelete
  2. What better way to live your life.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If I died with camera in hand it would be a death ell received

    ReplyDelete
  4. Somebody said once. "Its not death I fear but the gate I have to pass". Well a transport vehicle to do it quick would be not so bad I think if it is not on purpose . The photo of the biker against sunset is very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  5. At least he was not alone when he died. Tell your wife where you go when you go hiking....

    ReplyDelete
  6. he kept doing what he enjoyed, for sure. bless his family.

    ReplyDelete
  7. He was a wise man.

    Condolences to his family.

    ReplyDelete
  8. There is a real message here as «Louis» will relate to you in an e-mail he will send you...

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is such a thoughtful post, John. Thank you for posting it.

    ReplyDelete
  10. We watched an episode of North Woods Law last night where a hiker was lost on the Appalachian Trail in Maine last summer. They still haven't found her, but I had the same thought. At least she was doing something she loved. Hopefully her end was quick, I suspect a similar event such as stroke or heart attack combined perhaps with a treacherous fall. She was 66 years old.

    ReplyDelete
  11. NOW is the time.
    Here is one of my favorite quotes:
    "Remember that there is only one important time and is Now. The present moment is the only time over which we have dominion. The most important person is always the person with whom you are, who is right before you, for who knows if you will have dealings with any other person in the future. The most important pursuit is making that person, the one standing at your side, happy, for that alone is the pursuit of life."

    From Three Questions by Leo Tolstoy.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I guess a person is blessed if they die doing what they love!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I know how something like that can touch you when it happens in a favorite place. The comments in the Press-Democrat story were touching as well (http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20131228/articles/131229601).

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate my commenters. Thank you. Sometimes you may ask a question which I am all too happy to answer. But if your comment comes in as Betsy-noreply-comment - I cannot reply back. Change you comment settings to include an e-mail address and then bloggers can reply.