At the beginning of any long hike, both body and mind will be resisting every step of the way. The early rising and heavy backpack feels like punishment. The long walk in and then steep ascent will be torture. For the first hour or more, there is nothing more appealing than to have stayed home, with the feet up, having a nice cup of tea.
So why hike? Why do we crave for time spent in the mountains, and dream of returning to them again and again?
For the many years I have wandered in mountainous landscapes, I can say it has shaped me in so many ways. The effort and determination required is demanding. Any progress made in this rugged expanse takes time. There are no shortcuts. No easy way round. But with small steps, one in front of another, great distances can be achieved and high peaks reached. Being in the natural landscape, just you and the elements, is a humbling experience. The following are a few lessons the mountains have taught me.
Gratitude ~ To feel free and fully alive.
Acceptance ~ Nature is non-judgemental.
Timelessness ~ Live by the rhythms of nature.
Perseverance ~ Small steps can bring big rewards.
Connection ~ A sense of belonging and being part of nature.
Hereness ~ Appreciate the journey and not just the destination.
For these reasons, and many more, I cannot think of anything better than a day spent in the mountains. Any initial laziness will be blown away by the dramatic views and forever changing landscape. Soon you’ll be wishing for the hike to never end.
What lessons have you taken away from time spent in nature?