|Proudly Scottish rocks, albeit under a weathered flag...looking out to the Isle of May.|
We took a walk the other day, no drama, hardly any elevation gained, no summit or trig point to achieve...just a gentle coastal walk. Life can get busy, there is so much to do, so many commitments to meet, expectations to satisfy...sometimes you just have to "walk" away from it all, if only for just a few hours.
I didn't always do that.
When I was much younger, I bought into the silliness that a person's value was in their perceived "busyness". You know, the so-called "Protestant work ethic" - the sociological and theological rubbish that many of us grew up with in Western society. It was the idea that the harder we work, the more hours we put it, the closer we "keep our nose to the grindstone" (gee, that's gotta hurt!), then the greater our value. Once, I even left the lights on in my office, as proof to any who might pass by that I was "working around the clock". Impressive huh? Not.
This "work" ethic may have birthed capitalism, for what that's worth, but it plays havoc with short-term memory, cardiovascular health, problem-solving abilities, and concentration. It provides easy excuses not to exercise (who's got time eh?), maintain sensible body weight, or make healthy food choices. It raises blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and increases the stress response in dramatic enough ways to invite deeper and even catastrophic illness. Further, the need to be seen to be busy denies the opportunity to be reflective, pensive, thoughtful, and contemplative. And of all human activities, perhaps, these are the most elegant, refined, and life-giving.
So, when the going got "busy", we knew we needed to get going...for a reflective walk.
The Fife Coastal Path is right on our doorstep. The Scottish king, James VI, described Fife as "a beggar's mantle, fringed with gold."
|The "fringe of gold".|
The "gold" was the string of charming fishing villages along the coast of this former Pictish kingdom.
|In most ways that matter, I think we already are free.|
|The Firth of Forth Monster?|
|Gorse has a distinct "coconut" scent - but not at this time of the year.|
On this day, we decided to walk from St. Monan's, through Pittenweem, to Anstruther.
|Anstruther in colour.|
We could have run the six kilometres in no time at all...but we took three hours to walk this very short distance.
|A wall of shells.|
|Another wall: nature transitions into human handiwork.|
|A box of chips...the perfect end to a reflective walk along the Fife Coastal Path.|