The Wind in My Face

Two years ago I got it into my head to go solo hiking. I’d had enough of people and not understanding them and decided to see a new city, think a while and just walk and walk and walk. After a hasty search I ended up on the West Highland Way, a fantastic eighty kilometer route from Glasgow to the foot of Ben Nevis. This path winds through countryside so varied and wild that it is pure joy just to stare at it. I saw fairy-tale stone bridges, rough rain-swept moors, shadow-filled forests and gouged-out mountains.

And then, at the highest point of the walk, I clambered up to a mountain pass and emerged into a blasting gale of cool air. I stood there, gritted my teeth and leaned into it, arms spread, like some Gore-Tex clad angel. I felt completely happy, with the wind doing its best to whip me away and me fighting back, using every muscle just to keep my hold on the Earth. It was sheer heaven.

And now, with the winter tightening its grip, and the dark spreading like a nasty growth across the city, and the shitty disappointments of life leaving their nasty wounds, I find myself thinking of that cold breeze more and more. As soon as I step into a street with a lively wind, I stand there and lift my face and smile. And despite the biting snow and stinging pain it’s the time I feel most utterly alive.

I need to go there again. I need to feel that total unbridled rage of nature. Give me those streams of air roaring past me, so hard that tears roll down my cheeks, while I grin squinty-eyed with delirious joy and try to forget the empty holes and spaces.

Come back, you wind. Without you nothing is quite the same.

/ paddy


17 thoughts on “The Wind in My Face

  1. A beautiul piece of writing, Paddy. Come to Tasmania in July or August and experience a Southern hemisphere ale. oops, gale Although the ale is pretty good, too.

  2. Wow, you’ve done it again, Paddy K!
    Now go and find some publicer with a BRAIN and get that book of yours on the marked! I know I’ll buy it!

    Wishing you the best of luck,

    a dedicated reader

  3. If only it were a warm breeze, I would be right there with you. :) Hate this freakin’ cold. Yes, I know, cold is cleansing, blah, blah.

    Not the point, the writing was poetic, but I got lost in the cold.

  4. Yepp, it has to! (hurt a little).
    Do you agree that the most vibrating “I’m alive and kicking!” experiences always happen in interaction with unspoiled nature? Or is that just me…

    About the brains; was, is and will always be a rare commodity, I’m afraid, so just keep walking in that wind and keep smiling!

  5. Ah, my secret blog…. To be honest, I’m not a blogger at all and what you will find on my, now open-for-visitors blog is, to state it mildly, not much. I started it a while ago and forgot about it (very) soon after.
    Why i filled it in when I wanted to comment on your blog? Eh…. simply because it was something to be filled in..? (by the way, is there an emoticon for feeling quite dumb?).
    Anyhow, feel free to take a look at my blog, boring and not at all updated as it may be! Oh.. and did I mention that it is entirely written in dutch? :) Enjoy!

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