THE 3-PEAKS WALK … A REFLECTION
This is a view of Pen-y-Ghent, the first of the mountains on the 3-peaks walk. It’s an imposing mountain set against a clear sky – it’s rather more than imposing when you’re near the top, in dark cloud, lashed by rain and all you can see most of the time are the boots of the person in front! Anyway, confessions first – Pen-y-Ghent was the only one of the three peaks I managed. By the time Burj, Sarah, Andrea, Amy & Daniel (the serious 3-peakers!) and I got to the famous Burger van at Ribble Head, I knew I had gone as far as I was going to go that day. I was, after all, under strict orders from Simon NOT to overdo it!
Looking back, it was a day to raise the spirits – the weather (after the thankfully short-lived torrential bit at the top of Pen-y Ghent it actually got quite summery!); the views – including of clouds beneath you as you climb and the magic of catching a glimpse of sunlight striking a hillside on the other side of the valley when all around you is wreathed in shadow; the sight of all the different groups walking for a variety of causes – the youngsters walking to raise money in memory of a young lady who had died; another group walking in aid of a Crohns disease charity – plus many more walkers besides, and of a wide range of ages.
For me, though, there are three things that will remain long in my memory of the day, all of which I think speak of God in some way or other:
Firstly being on a particularly steep, slippery and distinctly dodgy bit of Pen-y-Ghent in cold, driving rain, wondering quite where this was leading – and then noticing out of the corner of my eye the figure of Burj a couple of steps beneath me, arms outstretched, Condor-like, ready to grab me in case I slipped and fell.
Secondly the way the different aspects of planning and preparation by All Hallows’ people all came together: overall organisation, flag-making, food-making or buying and sharing at various points along the way; sponsor-form creating & copying & distributing, lifts, timings, communications, and of course donating – each little bit of the whole playing its part in making the day the truly memorable experience it was. The sentiment was kind of echoed by one of the group who said, “Every walk, however long or short, is done one step at a time”. Or as we say, some things are greater than the sum of their parts.
All this also served to remind me that working together, doing stuff like this is not only good for us, physically, emotionally and socially; it’s good for the church (a rain-proof building more fit for use by the community as well as for worship is that bit nearer) and is also such brilliant fun, something we need to bear in mind as being an important part of our life together.
And the third thing that will stay with me always is the really wonderful feeling of being in touch with the Creation – ok, sometimes a Creation that was a bit wetter or steeper or boggier than some of us bargained for, but awesome nonetheless to feel and know ourselves part of it, and it of us.