When the summit is not the goal 🙂
A comic inspired by a recent hike up Middle Fell in the Lake District, England. The route takes you via Greendale Tarn and is supposed to be a “moderate” walk according to the National Trust, but with a bad foot and improper shoes I found the steep uphill climb really difficult. After a lot of being pulled up by K, I found a spot by Greendale Gill where I decided to settle down and wait while he climbed up to the tarn. I could see the Wastwater Screes plunge into the water before me, and far away in the distance I could see the sea! I could even make out the windmills.
I drank the water from the gill and listened to its musical gurgling. I opened a bag of chips and ate it happily. I was perfectly content, and my initial dismay at not having made it to the top faded away. Maybe there was beauty in being halfway up, too.
I’ve always dreamt of doing something heroic. I’m not even sure what that really means but I’m constantly chasing the idea that life has a Grand Scheme or Hidden Purpose that I’m yet to discover, and when I do, I’ll Change the World.
I’m now starting to realize this is possibly because of a keen sense of inadequacy that I’ve always had. The idea that I’m supposed to throw myself into some all-consuming mission also means that I consistently fail to meet my own expectations. Sometimes when I’m clearing weeds in the garden I come across earthworms, possibly one of my favourite creatures. (Also one of the cleanest to dissect in zoology lab haha.) Earthworms are beautiful unassuming little fellows, working away patiently, doing their thing, rarely making a public appearance, helping fields and flowers grow above ground, while they bury deeper. And I derive so much comfort from this: that maybe there’s no grand plan at all but just a collection of the little things we do. Maybe like earthworms, we can make our lives mean something by just doing our bit without worrying about the impact, by getting out of the way, and by being mostly harmless.