This year I’ve spent some time walking in the Yorkshire Dales and it strikes me that so much of life is like going on a hike.
You have a destination in mind; you plan the route and tuck the map and instructions safely in a pocket.
Then you set off. You want to stick to the route so you regularly stop to consult the map and instructions. You know that this paper is telling you exactly what you must do and if you veer from it, you’ll get lost.
The path is uneven and you don’t want to stumble so you keep your head down as you put one foot in front of the other. You stop from time to time, for a drink or lunch; then carry on again, head down and determined.
After a while you notice that time has passed, so you stop.
In a moment of clarity you realise that you’ve been walking blindly, following instructions written by others towards a destination that someone else decided was right for you.
And you question whether the destination you thought you wanted to reach is, in fact where you want to go now.
You can see there are many different paths you could take and it’s all overwhelming.
As you raise your eyes, you notice how far up the hill you’ve climbed so you take a few moments to celebrate your achievements and admire the view.