You Need a Sense of Awe

If, like me, you enjoy walking up mountains for no reason, then you may very well have experienced the sense of awe and accomplishment which accompanies an ascension. It doesn’t matter if you’re cold, wet, hungry, sleep deprived and generally uncomfortable when you see a view like this:

Myth and Legend

Lake District Summit

The mundane British landscape. Cloud inversions are one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

I’m not sure why so many people I know have a disdain for the British Isles. They complain that it has a boring landscape, and wonder why on earth I would want to climb up mountains… for no reason. Well I actually prefer the green, rounded hills of Britain to a lot of other landscapes. I certainly prefer it to the holiday resorts of Spain where so many people go to stew on a beach, and I don’t think this is too boring to be honest:

Sheep and Sunset Waterfall

From my extremely limited time on this earth, I have found that you need a sense of awe to be fulfilled fully. It’s not good simply ‘relaxing’. It just doesn’t do it for me. If you’re trying to take a good photograph, you need to have a sense of awe. There needs to be something out of the mundane and cliched which you don’t experience on an everyday basis. This doesn’t necessarily mean bellowing clouds and lightning, or a huge volcanic eruption. If the serenity of an unmoving field is captured from the right angle, it too can provide a sense of awe. It’s no good taking a photo of a tall building or a large rock and expecting people to take interest. There needs to be light bouncing off it, an unusual angle, or something. Just something that the average pair of eyes doesn’t normally notice, or have a chance to see. And the same thing applies to life. My best memories are of things that are out of the ordinary. This isn’t rocket science. The best way to enjoy an experience is to practice something unusual and have variety, whether in a photo or not. Now, I’m being a hypocrite here, as I stew and relax just as much as the next person. I drink a cup of coffee a day, eat cereal for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch. But I also go on long walks at sunset, and cycle down empty country roads at 30mph at night.



2 responses to “You Need a Sense of Awe

  1. Great post. Although not a mountaineer, I enjoy a good walk up a hill, especially in the Yorkshire Dales, and the scenery’s anything but mundane. Several of out friends don’t get why we’d have a week in Swaledale over a week in the sun so we’re showing them by getting married at the Tan Hill and walking to our reception in Keld… in February 🙂 We believe that we couldn’t have picked a better venue and the scenery and sights will speak for themselves and everyone will understand why we’re up there once or twice a year.

    Thanks for a great blog post and some wonderful pictures.

    • Thank you very much for your feedback! This is a really nice comment to receive, and I’m glad that you enjoyed my post. I hope you continue to enjoy hill walking and enjoy your marriage :)!

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