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Petrarch and Mount Ventoux; A man's journey through life

Updated on October 7, 2016

Petrarch’s descriptive essay The Ascent of Mount Ventoux is nothing more than his epiphany of life. He compares his own path to the top of the mountain to his brother’s. His brother picks a steep but straight forward path and Petrarch decides to take what appeared to be an easier route to the top but in turn finds out the path descends. Petrarch attempt to “avoid the exertion of the ascent” only makes his journey to the top more difficult. Petrarch’s reasoning for this symbolizes the way in which one takes the road not taken in life. Petrarch regresses and comes to a realization that nature does not allow for an easier path. The only way to succeed is to take the way nature intended. In Petrarch’s own words “the life which we call blessed is to be sought for on a high eminence and strait is the way that leads to it.” Petrarch displays a perfect example of how a personal experience can lead to a greater understanding. Petrarch applied his lesson of the successful ascent up Mount Ventoux to how he should live his life.

Petrarch’s view on life is similar to my own, in which one must endure the treacherous obstacles to get to the top. Petrarch and I are similar in that we have both climbed mountains that were difficult. My journey to the top of Machu Picchu was exhausting due to the lack of oxygen that is available at such a high altitude. When I finally made it to the top the view was breathtaking and the exhaustion I had endured to get there was all forgotten. I often say that in order to succeed you need to fail. I feel that in order to succeed in life one must make mistakes along the way and to learn from them. Nursing school has been a tremendous journey for me to learn an appreciation of success. I like to explain nursing school as being thrown into a body of water with weights attached and learning to stay afloat. As a senior I have managed to stay afloat through hard work and dedication to the responsibilities of becoming a professional nurse.


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