Hold a true friend with both your hands.
Amen to that! And my new friend? Blencathra, mountain of all mountains. Last Monday I walked up one (of a number) of the ‘edges’ that lead to the top. Perfect weather with views out to the very edges of the Lake District. A day to remember with an inside smile. But that’s how I’ll remember today. Nothing dramatic. And yesterday visiting a long time known Buddhist trainee living on one of the edges of the Lakes, Walney Island. The high fells stretching like a frill across the skyline, from one side of her living room window to the other.
Yes, I’ve been taking the opportunity to get out and about and to climb up into the mountains. How fortunate am I? Great Stickle, Swirl How, Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell and the Old Man of Coniston. High Street from Haweswater and more. On the Band and back again, for more. The names are the stuff of poems, there is a rhythm in their walking and I’ve chanted their names as I’ve neared the end of a long day walking.
Yes, and I’ve taken the opportunity to get out and about and meet old friends. How fortunate am I? By phone and email, driving and Skype calling. No mountain climb, however testing, can ever match up to the lived-lives of the people I’m privileged to spend time with. Many of their names I remember as I walk and chant a verse for. Each morning.
It’s the end of a long day and a long hot summer. With rain beating down on the skylight of my just-moved-into new room I’m thinking. Thinking that all experiences pass, relationships all end, shelter keeps the rain out no matter where it is and being able to smile in adversity helps.
Whats not to love about this mountain? See trailer for Life of the Mountain, film by Terry Abraham released in May.
I’m smiling now, inwardly, remembering the long crampon scratch marks on rocks high on Crinkle Crags. Winter walking? Winter talking? More towards the level of the sea, around Morecambe Bay, visiting an elderly woman there. Enjoy the Autumn golds and perhaps the Winter whites.