Noticing the details in nature

There were many life lessons to take away from 2020. One thing I personally learned was to walk through the landscape differently. The great mountaineer Melissa Arnot Reid said “The journey is for the soul and the summit for the ego” and never more than last year did I come to understand the essence of these words. At a time when we were forced to slow down we were also gifted the opportunity in many ways to pause and really notice. To see the little details we might ordinarily rush by in our pursuit of productivity. I’ve translated this lesson onto my experiences in the hills. I now aim to move through the landscape more gently, more mindfully, more in-tune with it all, with an increased desire to take the time to notice and marvel at the intricate mini worlds at my feet. I no longer rush for the summit, but as Nan Shepherd discusses in her iconic book The Living Mountain, I am learning to go around the mountain, to savour it and the journey. I’ve noticed that in hiking this way that I find great comfort for my mind at a time when the news continues to be tough to take. There are so many beautiful little details to see when we slow down, amazing little forests and kingdoms that spark all kinds of stories and ideas. Anyone else love looking at the tiny things as well as the awe-inspiring vistas?

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