A Boy Meets a Remarkable Man

A Boy Meets a Remarkable Man

"When I was about seven or eight, my job was to deliver milk from my father's farm to a customer a mile away. For this I had to get up at five in the morning and walk along a hillside road. I didn't like getting up so early and I didn't like the long walk; and as I walked along I felt sorry for myself.

Then one day I met a remarkable man. I hadn't seen him before, nor have I seen him since, yet that meeting changed my life. He stopped to talk to me, and I suppose I complained about my long walks.

He kindly said, 'My friend, how mistaken you are! What a pleasure in life you are missing. Instead of complaining and thinking gloomy thoughts, you should realize what a joy it is to be able to walk along this hillside and to observe the growth and change of the trees.

Do you see mist rising over the valley, creeping upward among the alder branches?

Do you see the first rays of the sun in the tree tops on the maples heralding the sun before you ca actually see it? What a privilege you have, my friend, to be able to take this walk everyday. I feel lucky if I can get here at this hour once a month.

Do you know the aspens and red-barked dogwoods? Count them as you walk along and you will find you will end your walk all too soon.'

I walked on in thought after this remarkable man left ..."

And the boy himself became remarkable. He was O. C. Simonds, the famous Chicago-Pier Cove landscape architect who began the reclamation of the West Michigan landscape following the devastation of the great lumber clearing of the 1860s-1870s. The Ravine of Pier Cove stands as his memorial.

A Boy Meets a Remarkable Man
Click on the image to return to the full map

Tales of the Villages Home Page  |  Sidebar  |  Last Tale  |  Next Tale