Saturday, August 11

While the cats are away....Wordsworth & me out in the sun

With many of my fellow UK Outdoor Bloggers away this weekend on the backpack/wildcamp meet high in the hills of the Brecon Beacons, it leaves the field free for my groundbreaking scoops & exposé from my insider investigations. To bring you the real story behind this nefarious outdoor blogging practice that seems to be sweeping some parts of the walking community. Well a tiddly little bit of it at least.

But unfortunately there's no scandal to speak of. If this weekend's meet is anything like the inaugural Lake District one in June it well be a pleasant, well mannered and thoroughly enjoyable affair for all concerned, especially for the newer brethren joining in for the first time.

I sit here at the garden table, beating my laptop keys whilst squinting to make out the characters on the screen in the strong sunshine. Heat all around. A beer by my right hand. Music on my headphones. And all life's small luxuries a small stumble away back inside the house.

And yet I feel so disheartened that I've not managed to make the meet this weekend. Not jealous. Just aware I'm missing out on friends that I've come to know only so recently, and all the new ones yet to be made.

At the risk of becoming tedious I'll just express what the continual cross communication, fertilisation of ideas and meeting of kindred spirits means to me - Community.

OK as in any walk of life there's a rich variety of backgrounds, personalities and differing viewpoints. And some might even say there's one of two weirdos amongst them (but I'm away this week so your safe - lol)

But behind it all a recognition of a shared wonder of things outdoor that can only be there through practical experience.

We're not all long in the tooth mountaineering experts either. Some have come to the wildcamping experience more recently. But the savouring of that special something can grab you for life, once you've tuned in and accepted that presence. Not necessarily a religious or metaphysical thing.
William Wordsworth for one kept trying to get that feeling out in words:

"With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things"

"When from our better selves we have too long been parted by the hurrying world, and droop. Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired, how gracious, how benign in solitude"

"One impulse from a vernal wood May teach you more of man, Of moral evil and of good, Than all the sages can"

Did he manage it? I don't know. But I recognise the symptoms. Most infectious.

And if you want more - his works are freely available on Project Gutenberg. Well if I can't be in Brecon in person, it makes up for it in some small way.

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Glad you had a good weekend too, John.
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