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Landmarks in our Lives

Image for article Landmarks in our Lives

So, I was watching a thing about Mark Knopfler recently and in it he was talking about the importance of getting his live performances just right for people. He really was trying to make absolutely clear how important it is, and he went on to explain; the songs are landmarks for people, the songs are milestones for people in their lives, and they use them to live with.

It stuck with me you know, the thing about landmarks and milestones in their lives and I kind of got to thinking about how it's also true for the places we walk. The places we discover, we return to, retreat to, the places we share. Places we share with friends, family, lovers, strangers even. The places we go alone, alone with someone in our thoughts perhaps. Sometimes there's a need to return to a particular place to reboot if you like, to recharge, or even just to remind us how fortunate we are. Some places we walk give us a feeling of belonging, even if we've never been there before.

Our minister in Scotland, Jack, had been enjoying a career as a mathematics teacher when one day, hillwalking, over some Munro or other, he met with God. "It quite literally was a mountain top experience Mark" he told me. I don't suppose there can be many more significant landmarks than that in your life, can there?

For many, Walla Crag is a milestone, and once completed, Walla Crag becomes Catbells, becomes Haystacks, becomes Great Gable. Landmarks each of them as individuals learn their way around the mountains. Achievements are celebrated and rightly so. For others, first light on Fairfield might just be the nudge required to say enough is enough; new job, new home, new me. Again, landmarks in their lives.

I say 'the places we walk' because it's not all about hills. Valley floors, country lanes, river banks, woodland and coastal paths, they all mean something to someone. Urban walking is a great pleasure of mine and I'm equally as happy doing that as I am down by the shores of Ullswater or up on top of Ullscarf. I love towns and cities and can walk for hours on end seeking out relics of industry and beautiful buildings that have seen better days. I like the bustle of the crowds moving from bar to bar, with some love struck Romeo doing his street serenade.

You know I think the landmarks in my life are more likely to be found on Stephenson's High Level Bridge than they are on Wainwright's high level route.

So, where are the landmarks in your life?

8 June 2017 by Mark Wright

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