The first part of my coast to coast walk takes me through the Lake District. Famous in England for its glorious hills and valleys. ‘Small Schotland’, some call it, but that may be mistaken. It has a beauty and a atmosphere of it’s own.
When I am walking, I enjoy the scenery around me. Walking gives you the opportunity to appreciate and reconsider again and again the scenery that unfolds before your eyes, because you are moving slowly. You can see the same scene over and over again and explore it deeper and deeper with every view you get of it. It brings a very grounded feeling to your walk.
The Lake District has something to add to that idea. I am not sure why that is. Maybe it is the quick rise and fall of the hills, the play of light between the sun and the clouds, the changing colours of the fields as you walk through them. Maybe because every rock and every stone give you a different view with every step you make toward it.
On one of the hill tops I meet John, from Canada. It is amazing how many nationalities there are on this walk. He is originally Dutch, left for Canada when he was three, became a minister in the ‘Hervormde Church’ and is now visiting Europe. Visiting relatives in Holland is his next stop after the Lake District. We get to talk about how it is so difficult to get hold of a view because it really does change in front of your eyes with every step. We make the analogy to a persons identity. How that also may be looked upon as an ever changing scenery. You would have to dig deep, to the roots of the mountain to find the core of personal identity. We can maybe access it by sharing our stories.
On the top of the next hill an Israelian couple that I met before is standing. By holding his phone in the air he can get just a bit of telephone network. They are anxious about news from their family at home with all the fighting going on. Their son is in the army. He does get his bit of network. That is when they get the saddening news that best friend of their son, also a soldier, has been killed today in the fighting.