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"A Tidy Mind on Kinder Scout" - by Sarah Barker

A woman smiling at the camera with Kinder Scout landscape in the background
Sarah Barker on Kinder Scout in October 2023

There are many things that make my blood pump that little bit faster…but a mountain?

How? you ask…Or why? you frown. ‘She’ has always had my heart from the get go. It’s intrinsic and I feel drawn to be around her, on her and within her centre. Emotions turn up like pangs of the deepest love, then fear brings me back followed by wonder but I don’t want to understand it, I just want more of that, I’m here for it all.

Every visit, a journey, an indulgence, like eating cake and drinking hot tea with a good book in my favourite chair shrouded in warm light. The mission UP, with home on my back and the air in my lungs, a reminder of my right to roam and be loved with the solid beating of my heart, I climb. I climb until my cheeks run rosey and my nose runs more, with my home on my back seeking sweet solitude, my drug of choice. There are worse habits. The healing power of solitude on this mountain remains my healthiest addiction. The ascent steadily in progress, my senses overloaded by all of the best stuff. Colours blend, sound carries, aromatic peat hags steam in the autumn sun. I want to touch EVERYTHING. The wind carved boulders intentionally set like marbles thrown into sand, they twinkle in the changing light like disco balls. Heather reaches out lovingly to hold my hand and I cross the river looking back to thank those hands. I smile. I feel completely on my own but never alone here.

I’m on the EDGE. The edge of the world it seems, gazing down at the miniatures below. This is my TOP and the intermediary between accomplishment and camp. As I settle right onto the edge path there’s no drama just walking. A billion thoughts and feelings meander through my mind , filling my body with a cocktail of emotions.

I close my eyes.

Finally space and time to process all that my brain soaked up of late. She’s swollen and tired and that’s hard to carry with my home on my back on my route to camp. My mind is like a busy workshop, everything tidied up well in there though. I’ve gotten good at that into my 40th year. Yes, it really does take time to hone the craft of self belief, self love and worth. There’s the moment right there when I say the words. “I’m proud of me, thank you Kinder”.

Sarah Barker

Mother, Wife, Midwife


Follow Sarah on Instagram and YouTube.


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