Ice – as in Iceland and polar bears and . . .

. . . I really wanted to be able to go into the Scottish mountains in the winter.  I wanted to be able to walk with confidence on the snow and ice.  I was given a pair of crampons for a birthday present and an ice axe for Christmas.  It was time to seize the day.  I booked a winter skills course at Glenmore Lodge and joined the Scottish mountaineering club, thereby receiving the latest expedition compass.

When the time approached for my departure on Sunday afternoon to the “frozen north” of the Cairngorms, I began to get anxious.  Would I be the oldest?  Would I be fit enough?  Would I have the nerves I would need?  Perhaps I did not feel very well . . .

There was ice – plenty of it – and there was snow – and I had a lot to learn about it.  I had to borrow kit to go along with my axe and crampons.  I was invited to do stuff in those hills that blew my mind.  I was carried along by the energy of a great little group of (younger) people; I laughed and I pushed myself and I tried not to be left too far behind.  I can now use an axe; I can now climb up an icy slope using crampons.  I am not sure I would be able to stop myself if I started to slide . . but I would have a go.

Cairngorm 1

I felt alive.  God was on my shoulder and in my heart.  My boys were cheering me on: go for it, Dad.  My wife was saying her prayers.

Cairngorm 2

We are preparing for an initiative in the circuit which is being launched on Saturday called Rhythm for Living, where we are going to invite each other to adventure in discipleship, to leave the familiar and discover life in its fulness.  Perhaps we might step off the train and onto the snow slopes, breathing the cold winter air and set off on a new journey of adventure.

The instructor said to us as he invited us to follow him: “It is challenge by choice”.  Now there is a sermon.  I enjoyed the companionship of my fellow travellers.  At the end of the day one of them discovered that I am a Methodist minister and declared “I would never ever have guessed that!”  Not sure how to take that now.

Cairngorm 3

I was nervous about setting off, but thrilled now that I went.  Perhaps I feel the same about this Saturday.

Peace.                                        Andrew





9 thoughts on “Ice – as in Iceland and polar bears and . . .

  1. Is there no end to the ‘skills’, sense of adventure’ even etc. of ‘BigHat’? We are exhausted with your sense of adventure and ‘daring’ (At our age we might struggle to find another word beginning with st.!) but hey – it is probably jealousy. Love your spirituality and looking for a sermons even on the edge.
    My contribution a quote contained within a letter from friends who are missionaries in Nepal. (yes – we do have friends!)
    Quote from the French Catholic priest Abbé Pierre that seems particularly apt for life in Nepal
    at this time. Abbé Pierre said that we need to look at the world through both eyes: one to see the beauty and give thanks; and the other to see the suffering and commit ourselves to fighting against it.
    Keep writing – it is appreciated.
    Jim and Olive

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your paragraph starting ‘There was ice….’ sounds exactly like a recipe for life itself to me: we step out, we learn, we borrow, we are carried by others, we laugh, we push ourselves, we find we can cope out of our comfort zone, we use what we are given – and if we start to slide we’re surely going to find we’re not alone! Sounds like you did quite well for an old man!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Inspirational and beautiful. I look forward to hear more of your adventures as you put the new skills into practice. Some things you can’t do in London!

    Liked by 1 person

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