Sunday, 12 January 2014


The mountain is steep, a gradient that relies fully on gravity to keep you upright. The air is thin and the panting in your mouth doesn't reveal fully the pumping going on in your chest. Your back is breaking. All you think you need to carry is on there, like a treasured curse.

The muscles in your legs are splintering.  Each step sends a burning sensation up your calves like a blow-torch being fired from your heels. That canvas corpse on your back is balancing you, but only because you've readjusted your body to accomodate it. To live with the dragging pain of all that you're heaving uphill with you. It's somehow become part of you, and it's almost like you need it now. 

And now, when I'm trying to say, let me carry it for a while, you're looking at me as if I'm a little unstable myself...

...Put your hand on the shoulder strap and slip your arm out. I's not as easy as it should be. There are things inside that rucksack that are the very essence of who you've become. Still, try to prise it off your back. And now the other arm...

Take a step without those kilogrammes wrenching you backwards. Feel the difference. Your legs are lighter. You begin to catch your breath again.

Start to enjoy the view as you climb. Don't fret. Keep walking. You'll get to the top. When you arrive, you'll know that it'll have been worth the hard yards.

As for your rucksack, when I give you it back at the top, it won't feel the same. I'll be rearranging a few things in there. I've packed and re-packed a few of these things in my time. I've got a way of making it more manageable. Trust me...


  1. smiles...makes me think a bit of the boys i used to counsel and walking life with them for a bit trying to teach them ways to get one down the road a bit and over the mountains they are facing....

  2. This makes me think of unburdening ourselves by taking some of our problems off of our shoulders. I love this.

  3. Oh this is encouraging! Love the way you expressed it. Brilliant dichotomy in "a treasured curse". That second paragraph reminded me of myself on the treadmill after the holiday season-ha! Great writing--I'd love to read more of this kind of stuff. Thanks, too, for the warm welcome back on my blog. Great to see you.

  4. My hubby would be lost without his, he takes it even on short journeys. If he moans about the weight factor inside it, I promptly remind him of the last 3 semesters of my pregnancies!


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