Saturday, October 17, 2009

Discovering the Children’s Memorial in Gravenhurst, Ontario

As we stepped up on the stairs leading up the rock protrusion we had no idea of the treat that we were to encounter. Each step took us away from the world of busy.

For a few days this week my wife and I spent time away from the other life. Through a neat set of circumstances we were able to stay at the brand new Marriott Residence Inn which is situated on the beautiful Lake Muskoka. Talk about luxury!

This particular morning we had walked out from our hotel and crossed the parking lot arriving at the side of the large rock outcropping that protrudes into Lake Muskoka. The colour of the leaves was so beautiful that we just had to go see it closer.

The path led us upward gradually over the gigantic rock surface. You will have no idea how big rocks are until you step into the Muskokas. The back of this giant rock pointed us to the first Gazebo that we discovered about a city block away. There it was perched alone to allow a perfect view of the world below. Amazing!

In front of us, to the left of us and to the right also was Lake Muskoka. To the right further is the famous old Muskoka Warf that has thrilled people with its beauty for well over 100 years or more.

It was while standing in the first Gazebo that I spotted the second one which was a little further down and to the right – closer to the toe of the big rock and the water. The path on the right led us to this new site.

The words above the path entrance on the wooden sign were powerful, “Pathway of Memories – We have a dream – Our children remembered forever”. We walked on.

Arriving in the second Gazebo we looked around. It was then that we spotted the reason for it and everything fell into place. NO ONE TOLD US ABOUT THIS PLACE – A COMPLETE DISCOVERY!

There on the rafters were dozens of small plaques each with the name, birth date and passing date of someone’s child.

The sun shone on us as we read the names. The glorious colours of the Fall Leaves bathed us in their beauty. Just below the Children’s Memorial was the toe of the giant rock with the gentle waves lapping at its face.

The peace that I felt at that moment mixed with the thoughts of all the children that once perhaps played in this community, the loss that their parents must have felt and still do feel… was overwhelming – to say the least.

I am still sorting through the many feelings today.

If you have the time some day, are blessed with the opportunity and simply tell yourself – “I want to go there…!” Just do it! You will not be disappointed.

~ Murray Lincoln ~


1 comment:

cheryl said...

i too fell upon this place quite by accident. really though i think it was a divine intervention for me to have seen this memorial, My dgrandson was murdered at the age of 23 months and his killer walks out of prison this year. every year i strive to find something to remember him, something lasting and meaningfull. he absolutely loved the water and he would always yell wawa grama wawa. i felt his presence and the spirit of all the others on the wall . i am making a donation to have his name up amongst the rest. priceless