Isle of Skye’s Old Man Storr

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It happens naturally in the ascent, to shed the duties and disappointments that weigh one down in daily living. At the summit, one is rewarded with a lightness of being. A step and a glance up, a step and a glance up, the breathing becomes deep and rhythmic, and listening, I no longer know where I am or where I came from. But I know that I have become enfolded in the immense green beauty of this ancient mountain in a surreal landscape, and that I am where I should be. I understand that it is not about power. For here alone, there is no need of power. On top now, I am free to just be…in the warm golden glow of an early summer evening. This is nature’s gift to those in search of truth and beauty.

Isle of skye hiking
Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland

“Sublime landscapes, through their grandeur and power, retain a symbolic role in bringing us to accept without bitterness or lamentation the obstacles that we cannot overcome and the events that we cannot make sense of…[i]f the world seems unfair and beyond our understanding, sublime places suggest that it is not surprising that things should be thus. We are the playthings of the forces that laid out the oceans and chiselled the mountains…

It is not just nature that defies us. Human life is as overwhelming. But it is the vast spaces of nature that provide us with the finest, the most respectful reminder of all that exceeds us. If we spend time in them, they may help us to accept more graciously the great, unfathomable events that molest our lives and will inevitably return us to dust.” –Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel

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