"Macbeth shall never vanquish’d be until
Great Birnam wood to high Dunsinane hill
Shall come against him."
Macbeth, Act 4 Scene 1 - Shakespeare
|Leaving the car park, heading for the trail.|
|Once again, "blue sky" Scotland!|
|The Tay Valley - forests, moorland, lakes, and the gentle curves of the A9.|
|Admiring the view from the Stair Bridge.|
|The summit cairn on Birnam Hill.|
|A bank of windmills and the peak of Schiehallion (r).|
All in all, a most enjoyable hike / hill walk for these early days in Perth.
So, what about this theory of "relativity"? Well, Einstein had a complex theory of relativity. I have a much simpler one. Here's some background:
Joan and I had initially thought we would just wear running shoes on this hike. After all, six kilometres is not that far. Well maybe not - on a flat, smooth, running trail. The path up Birnam hill was rough and steep in places and we were really glad that we'd worn our hiking boots. But, everything in life is relative. Here's a conversation we had on the way down:
|The snow-capped mountains to the north and west, seen from the cairn.|
Duncan: No kidding, it would have been nasty.
Joan: You really do need good ankle support on this kind of stuff. Thank goodness we wore the boots!
Duncan: Yep, good decision, for sure. No way you can do this stuff without proper footwear.
We patted ourselves on the back for our responsible planning and continued to carefully pick our route down the steep path. Suddenly we became aware of a "presence" on the hill behind us. It was a 30-ish woman, her long wavy hair flying behind her in the wind. She called out a greeting and smiled warmly as she quickly passed us and continued, unbelievably, to run down the trail. Running would be tough enough, but her footwear got our attention. She was running in light sandals!
Duncan: That's incredible! How can she run on this stuff when we're poking our way down in "proper" footwear?!
Joan: Relax, it's all relative. She's 30 years younger and obviously does this all the time. We're doing fine too.
Duncan: I suppose so, but it would be nice to be able to...
Just goes to show that we're all different in this world. We have different abilities, different skills, different ways of handling challenges...and different strategies for negotiating life's steep and rocky "pathways". We may find support in different ways. Some may wear "sandals" and others, "hiking boots" - to traverse the very same paths. Some may also carry hiking poles to enhance balance and stability and increase confidence when the "terrain" is particularly precarious. What matters more than anything else though, is that we simply try to do the very best we can - and that we value one another's efforts. And when we fall short, we pick ourselves up...and give it another go.
It's not always helpful to compare accomplishments. Few of us really know what one another may be struggling with in any given moment in time. Life isn't a level "playing field". Everything is relative. That's my theory anyway.
Thanks for joining us on "Birnam Hill".