I was at the Lakes recently, which took me higher north in this country than I have been before. It was a great trip and I had looked forward to going for so long. It were to be our little get-away together, me and G. And me normally being a complete sucker for any kind of just slightly dramatic landscape, I was expecting to be babbling in delight at the first sight of anything even resembling a fell or a big lake.
However, as Life so often reminds us… things happen the way they are meant to, not the way we expect them to. And in this case, for me this meant a slightly unpleasant surprise. I looked around me, saw the dales, the hills and the mountains (are they high enough to be called mountains?? My jury is still out on that one…) I saw the streams, the falls and the vast lakes… and despite everything and anything I would normally have thought, something in me said: “I DON’T LIKE IT!”… I felt oppressed somehow, and sad. I was jumpy and nervous, and every time G and I were in the car I was driving him nuts because I was so anxious. It was just plain stupid but no matter how much I reasoned with myself I could not rid myself of the feeling of being unsafe and intimidated.
As the days went by I started to feel less uncomfortable around it, and thankfully G didn’t let it stop him – or us – from doing what we had planned to do. The weather stopped us on a few occasions but nothing a few changes to the plans couldn’t fix.
One day we scaled a steep forested hillside in the rain, and after about 90 minutes we cleared the forest and came to a wide stream we had to cross. For the first time we could look up towards the peak. It was covered in clouds rolling down the hillsides. It looked like a ghostly army charging a long-forgotten battlefield. It was eerie and fascinating at the same time. And as we moved up and the cloud army marched on down, eventually we met in some kind of awkward embrace. We had to give up the rest of the ascend as the weather was worsening and dusk was approaching, so we only stayed minutes where we were… yet still it is the memory that sits with me the clearest and strongest of the entire trip.
I don’t know what went through my head as we stood there and looked down at the valley (or whatever it was) far below us, but somehow it seemed I made peace with the whole place. I forgave something (probably myself for making such a fuss) and somehow I felt freer to enjoy and be excited about the rest of the trip.
At the end of the stay I wished we could have remained there for a while longer. I felt like I had bumped into someone I knew once, and I wasn’t ready to let go just yet. It made G smile and shake his head, and promise that we would return at some point. But as we drove away, I looked in the rear-view mirror and thought to myself: “do I really want to come back, now that I have finally escaped it again??”
Hard to please, I know LOL
Memo to me: Contradictions confuse. Take time to just have an open heart at times.