Hills – A Poem By Mark Wood

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Mark Wood, a member of our Community shared this touching poem with us. It was too good not to share, and was inspired by his walk along the South Down’s Way.

You can follow Mark, and his wife Karen on YouTube, via their Channel, Hand in Hand together or follow their progress vis their Facebook page, Mark & Karen’s life-changing adventure.

Location7 Wonderful Benefits of Long Distance Walking

HILLS

There’s always trepidation at the start of a hike

The hills in front of me feel overwhelming and fill me with doubt

They will try and break me and make me feel like I can’t go on

As I stand at the bottom looking up, I feel my confidence dispersing with the wind

How can I live this new life if I can’t conquer these rolling hills?

The path is rife with stones and rocks who mock my fancy walking shoes

Every step they bully the souls of my feet, trying to make me quit

My rucksack sits on my shoulders like the weight of a parent worrying over their child

It magnifies all the self-criticism that has been part of me for so long

How can I live this new life if I can’t conquer these rolling hills?

Very quickly though the realisation starts to seep into your being

Maybe these hills aren’t something to fear after all

You start to understand the magic of what is right in front of you

It isn’t about conquering the hills it is about learning from them

These hills have lessons to teach, and I am ready to be their student.

I started to use kind words instead of derogatory ones as I started to climb

I started to encourage myself rather than tell myself I can’t

I started to believe I could rather than thinking I would fail

I started getting to the top and feeling pride in my achievement

These hills have lessons to teach, and I am ready to be their student.

The weight of the rucksack was no longer a burden but a challenge

The stones on the path became a sign to slow down and watch every step

The top of the hill was no longer the focus, but the journey up was

The pain I felt in my body was now a reminder I was stepping out of my comfort zone

These hills have lessons to teach, and I am ready to be their student.

I was noticing the clouds in the sky, and the birds over head

I was noticing the array of flowers that lined the climb

I was noticing the aroma of the flora and air around me

I was noticing the sound of birdsong and my breath that kept propelling forward

These hills have lessons to teach, and I am ready to be their student.

I was slowly becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable

I was slowly starting to understand that hills made me feel good about myself

I was slowly starting to enjoy the burning muscles and aching joints

I was slowly learning that if you keep putting one foot in front of the other anything is possible

These hills have lessons to teach, and I am ready to be their student.

I am grateful to those hills for teaching me so many s for s

I am grateful to those hills for showing me how to be kind to myself

I am grateful to those hills for making me feel proud of myself many times a day

I am grateful to those hills for bringing me moments in time I won’t forget

These hills have lessons to teach, and I am ready to be their student.

Taking a leap of faith to live your dreams is never easy

But if you open your eyes and your heart there is so much to learn

So be brave and have faith in your choices

There is a world out there that will give back as much as you put in

The world has lessons to teach, and I am ready to be their student.

Mark Wood, 10th May 2022 After walking 70 miles of the South Downs Way.

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2 comments
  1. Well done Mark.
    You’re an inspiration to all those who know you and those who don’t. Keep living life and loving life. X

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