There is a path in Newport, Rhode Island, named the Cliff Walk. It stretches for three miles between rocky seashore and a string of grand mansions – architectural remnants of the city’s gilded age.
The mansions were of little interest to me.
What did interest me was the invisible stack of sandstone beneath my feet, neighbor to granite studded with pink crystals, and the view once had by wealthy aristocrats in their alcohol-drenched stupors, and staring dumbly at the sea, at a wave that came walking down its watery aisle like a bride before breaking like a pearl containing clouds.
A pair of children, speaking French, skipped to the edge of the cliff’s crown, seized the railing and fell silent, and at the same moment I noticed a small brown mouse, dead alongside the path.