‘a part of my structure’

A day of wearing a bright colourful shirt on the outside and the sorrow of and for others on the inside.

A friend living day to day with his kids after the death of his wife. How his getting through the next hour of the day is the be all and end all of his current existence.

Surface skimming his wounds with some squaddie humour. The past. Perhaps a beer some time in the future.

And then i saw the film that Stirling University students have made about Nick Gardner.

Nick started walking the Munro’s in his 80th year to raise funds for the charities that care for his wife.

It is a remarkable short film that knocked me sideways. It sticks a pin in the commercialisation of ‘outdoor mindfulness’. It is sensitive, and it is honest. And in it, in describing what mountains are and what mointains mean to Nick, he replies:

‘ …. they are a part of my structure’

And all of a sudden my 40+ years of needing outdoor space and the solitude and challenge of the high places made sense.


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