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Thursday, May 2, 2024

Endurance, fortitude and a magic lake in Italy


                                   The first to arrive, my super dog Bessie

Conversing with a friend about endurance, brought to mind taking a team of young people on a hike up to Pilate's Lake, which is under Monte Vettore where I run my workshops. The climb begins at a village called Foce where there are just a few houses and a bar, It's at about 1600m in altitude and the climb to Vettore and the lake takes about four hours through four plateaux; so you have to climb each one in turn; vertically then horizontally.

So, we had walked the first part from the bar at Foce, 3k to the bottom of the first vertical climb and the young folk immediately lost heart at the sight of it and were murmuring that they wanted to return to the bar.

And it was just at this moment that we heard singing voices above us and the sound of tinkling bells (Elves you imagine ?).

But no. Instead a line of a dozen people following a leader down the steep slope and another guide at the rear, And they were all roped together at the waist and they were all happily singing as we watched them grapple their way down towards us.

And as they came near, we saw with astonishment that all except the two guides were blind.

And when they reached our group below we of course welcomed them and praised them for there fortitude and wished them good fortune in the way Italians do.

Needless to say, my group were moved by what they had witnessed. I guess you could say that they were awakened in some form, and from then on, in over four hours climb to the lake, not one complaint was heard and they expressed, I sensed, simply gratitude and a certain calmness after such a powerful and serendipitous experience

I only met a few of them again after that day but I know that it was a story which in its way, structured their lives, and which would stay in their memories throughout life's twists and turns.



If you are interested in joining one of Michael's Art Adventures in The Sibillini National Park this summer, please click here for more info

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