Going west – walking with angels

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We didn’t have to climb the whole height of the mountain; there is a makeshift car park about halfway up. I was glad of that, as my poor, much abused feet were not happy. I spend much of my life barefoot, the soles of my feet offer better protection than most of my shoes these days and anyway, I like to feel the earth beneath my feet. Left to my own devices, I would have walked in the flimsy lace slippers that allow them to breathe and expand, but common sense demanded the walking shoes be worn. It would be a long way to carry an idiot with a twisted ankle back down the mountain and we had been warned of a scramble over loose scree at the top.

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Walking shoes come into their own in rain and winter weather…or when crossing the boggy stretches of moorland born of upland springs that bar your way, even when it hasn’t rained for weeks. Their soles are thick and rigid with excellent grip, their uppers breathable, their construction protective and waterproof and they hug the feet securely. They are faultless and comfortable… except when it is already hot and said feet are gasping for air and threatening to go on all-out strike if not given worker’s rights.

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Just to add insult to injury, as soon as my feet overheat at present, the pain and the itching of the spider bites returns. Consequently, my ascent of the mountain was slow, punctuated by muttered expletives and lacked the grace of the supercilious sheep and the ponies that watched our progress. They, I noted, had surrendered to the heat of the day and were comfortably lying on the grass.

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It is one of the inevitabilities of the ageing process that the body starts to impose limitations long before the inner self has begun to slow down. I am not sure that we ever have to leave our youthful eagerness and joy in life behind… but the consequences of the lives we have lived etch themselves on muscle and bone. Growing older is a privilege that should be appreciated for the gift it is…and one we would probably appreciate more often if it didn’t hurt so much.

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Sometimes, though, a slower pace is not such a bad thing. A leisurely stroll with frequent stops gives plenty of time to observe the land and its creatures, and this landscape was certainly worth more time than we would have. You could probably spend a lifetime on the mountain and still not learn all its secrets. Sometimes, too, that slower pace has unseen reasons that shadow forth a purpose other than our own. Without the aching feet, I would have missed something that will remain with me for a very long time…

For more photographs and to continue reading, please visit  The Silent Eye

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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44 Responses to Going west – walking with angels

  1. Lovely post and photos. I can totally relate to the sore feet when hiking – frustrating but at least we are still out there!

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  2. I love hiking and I would absolutely would love hiking there. I love the photos that you shared and the view looks stunning. It’s really neat that you walk barefoot most of the time. Kudos to you. I don’t like wearing socks, so I’m barefoot as soon I as I walk through my door. However, my feet are tender and would never be able to walk outside with no shoes on.

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    • Sue Vincent says:

      Mine have been hardened for years… not pretty, but practical. I have to say though that I don’t walk barefoot on the moors as a rule… too many sharp stones, sheep droppings and the occasional snake 🙂

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  3. Hi Sue! Really enjoyed this well written piece. Was with you every step of the way, so am resting now 😉

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  4. jenanita01 says:

    Shame about your poor feet, Sue. Personally, I quite like the fact that I am forced to slow down a little, and that the urgency to do everything in a hurry has gone.

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  5. Sympathise with the feet issue. I’m currently wearing crocs all day to let mine breathe, but had to wear my trainers last week when we went out with MOH and until we got home. I swear they breathed a sigh of relief when I took them off, but boy, did they whiff a bit! Shoes outside on the bow in the air, feet soaked in warm fragrant water, cup of tea in hand. Nice!!

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  6. Mary Smith says:

    Enjoyed reading this. Totally agree about how much more we would apreciate the aging process if it didn’t hurt so much. My feet are fine but my knees – ouch – and we live in a flat. Can’t help but notice there is a lot of shadowing going on in your most recent posts and am wondering where you are leading us? 🙂

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  7. You know the saying “A body in motion, stays in motion.” Those walks look well worth the effort. Beautiful photos, Sue.

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  8. Beautiful views Sue and yes the muscles do protest more each year. 🙂 xxx

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  9. Widdershins says:

    It might just be me but … every time I click on the link to The Silent Eye, I get a sternly worded message from WordPress telling me I’m, ‘not allowed to edit this blog’ … colour me confused! 🙂

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  10. Eliza Waters says:

    “It is one of the inevitabilities of the ageing process that the body starts to impose limitations long before the inner self has begun to slow down.” Ain’t that the truth! ;-D

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