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Looking ahead to the "walking retreat"

It's Monday morning. On Wednesday I plan to head up to the Fannaichs, a group of hills near Loch Fannich about 4½ hours drive north of Edinburgh - up into the 'real' Scotland. I'm feeling fairly nervous about it. Is this really the time of life for a 58 year old who has very limited experience of camping to be heading off into the wild for four or five days on his own?! Maybe it is. What am I doing this for ... and why am I writing in the blog about it?

Well, loosely, it's a 'walking retreat'. Walking in the Scottish hills. My father did this a lot. I remember at the top of a Scottish mountain how he could look around at the panorama of extraordinary beautiful hills stretching away into the distance, and he would name them, name the hills we could see like old friends. As a child and teenager I wasn't particularly interested. But now I'm as old or older than he was back then, now I'm interested. Interested in feeling small, in being a little dot on the extraordinary, ancient landscape. Interested in walking through the heather in the sunshine, in following a compass bearing along a ridge in the rain, in feeling my heart open and tears come as I sit alone sheltering by a summit cairn with my day-to-day life challenges melting into the endless view.

And see the next post in this series - "First full day of the walking retreat".

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