A sense of Wonder

Most of us exist for most of the time in worlds humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to the flick of a switch or twist of a dial, which have their own rhythms and orders of existence. Mountains correct this amnesia.
Mountains of the Mind | Robert Macfarlane
Aiguille Du Chardonnet
A conversation with an old climbing friend whom I had not seen for a number of years, during which we had both moved away from the climbing world, he to return to it rediscovering the old passion whilst I discovered new interests and a new passion for the sea, made me reflect on whether I had actually found something new, or had instead, found a new medium through which to experience the same thing.

Swell breaks on the 30m high cliffs at Reiff
The sea too, corrects the amnesia. It is hard not to sense these natural rhythms, watching the raw power of ocean swell breaking, tuning in to the cyclical order of things as we wait for calmer seas across which to journey.

Ultimately and most importantly, mountains quicken our sense of wonder.
Mountains of the Mind | Robert Macfarlane
Heading south along the west coast of Rona, Isle of Skye beyond
So too, are our senses quickened, our wonder awakened, moving silently between sky and sea: forces beyond our measure.

Mountains return to us the priceless capacity for wonder which can so insensibly be leached away by modern existence, and they urge us to apply that wonder to our own everyday lives.
Mountains of the Mind | Robert Macfarlane

Natural Arch - Papa Stour - Shetland
And so as I realised that in moving from the rock walls to sea and tide I had not so much discovered something new, as a new way of experiencing that same sense of wonder, so I understood that this was what was most important: finding that which awakens A Sense of Wonder.

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