(Climb a mountain, and let it astound you)
So, I never quite managed a mountain…
Arthur’s Seat is the main peak of a group of hills in Edinburgh, stunning, and described by Robert Louis Stevenson as “a hill for magnitude, a mountain in virtue of its bold design”.
Today I hiked up to the top. Taking my time, I trudged up the sodden pathways. The hill was busy but calm. Tourists wandering, dogs bounding gleefully in all directions. I could hear myself think, a nicety, but my thoughts didn’t hold any weight, they faded away into the landscape. Bliss.
Upon summiting, I was welcomed by the pleasant westerly wind, and for a brief moment I felt at peace. I cherished it.
It is within these moments, alone and silent, that I feel completely existent.
“I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments” — “The Invitation” by Oriah
Life can’t always be about moving forward. Sometimes it needs to be about the moment, because within these moments, lie the memories of our future.
rushing from day to day, grumbling at the lack of hours available to complete the tasks at hand. Months and years dissipate, merging into one infinite to-do list.
In the pursuit of success, we focus on the future, the ideal version of life. We seek comfort in the vow that life will start soon.
In the rare moments of silence, reality has a way of thumping us in the face, sometimes this happens at the peak of a beautiful hill. The truth that;
We’re all getting older,
As are our families and closest friends,
Time is passing us by,
We are starting to experience loss,
All these things that existed in the future,
Well, they exist now.
We’re all trying to succeed. To reach our ultimate destination, have meaning, feel valued, experience peace, happiness & love. The essence of what it is to live, but often we don’t experience it, as we are blinded by the pursuit.
We don’t realise that we can have the best of both worlds;
We can relentlessly pursue our dreams, and we can revel in the moment, celebrating life as it is now.
Hell, we can hike to the top of a hill, midweek, and savour every single step. We can delight in how wonderful it is to be alive, to be breathing, and to be experiencing the spectacles that life has to offer.
And, we can do this all without fear of falling behind, without judgement, and without a care in the world.
In that moment, we can be completely at peace. We can be alive.
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.” — “The Invitation” by Oriah