No. 67

If you'll come along, I would like to invite you to take a wonderful trip that literally produced enough memories to last me a lifetime. Early one Saturday morning, this past October, my wife, Viola and I, along with our good friends, Fay and Deveryl Smith, boarded a Delta flight bound for Hartford, Connecticut. For me this was the fulfillment of a long awaited goal to visit the New England states during the peak foliage season. We were met at the Hartford/Springfield Airport by some precious people, Charles and Hope Rice, who live at nearby Enfield and they were our unofficial hosts while we were in the area. Deveryl and Hope had been childhood friends back in Arkansas and they have maintained their friendship over the years. It was super nice to have these dear people to greet and dine us and then send us on our way the next morning, in our rental station wagon.
We had already decided to take the back roads without any itinerary and see all the sights at a very leisurely pace. Each of the five states we visited was different and the whole New England area was just beautiful, with the mountains ablaze with color! It is impossible to share all the highlights in this column, but for me the greatest blessing of all came from something that was totally unexpected. Near the end of the following week we spent the night at York Beach, Maine, and the next morning during a phone conversation, Hope told Deveryl to be sure and see "The Marginal Way" at Ogunquit, which was only a few miles away.
None of us knew what to expect and when we arrived, we were not overly impressed, as it turned out to be just a one mile paved walking trail. The trail, called "The Marginal Way", begins at Perkins Cove, where a lot of gift shops and restaurants and a charter boat service is located. The air that morning was a little chilly, so the girls said they had rather visit the gift shops and would be along in a while, so Fay and I went across the parking lot to start our journey up the trail. Almost from the beginning, it rises in elevation as it curves and winds its way through the scrub brush up to the top of the cliffs, where you can see and hear the ocean waves as they crash onto the jagged rocks over 100 feet below. It only took a few minutes for both of us to realize that our initial reaction was wrong and that we were experiencing something very special.
As we walked along, drinking in the majestic view, we began to notice the trash cans that were 300-400 yards apart and had been painted a dark green color. Further observation revealed that each can contained a single word printed with white script lettering which made it stand out against the dark background. The first can we noticed had the word "compassion", the next "forgiveness", the next "sympathy", followed by "generosity" and "thoughtfulness". Fay and I had no idea who had done this or why it was done, but it sure made us stop and think.
We both agreed that along "The Marginal Way" you could feel the presence of God and you could also see some of His very best handiwork. When you add to this the human qualities of forgiveness, compassion, sympathy, generosity and thoughtfulness, there is no reason why any person should not stop and count their blessings. We surely did. A few minutes later, we were joined by the girls who had made quite a contribution to Maine's economy and we did our best to share with them what we had experienced. It turned out they had felt it too, and we just praised the Lord together for the privilege of being there. Yes ! The Architect of the universe has certainly built a wonderful place for us to live! (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)