26 Jul

"Why do you go away? So that you can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colours. And the people there see you differently, too. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving." (Terry Pratchett in “A Hat Full of Sky”)

It’s been nearly four weeks since I got back home… and it’s been strange being static for so long. I’ve been taking time to go through my journal, to look at 10,000 pictures, to create my photo books of the trip, and to reflect on an incredible adventure. I’ve been looking to the future, too – designing products and seminars, and putting the final touches to something that I want to get out into the world in the next couple of days.

I’ve also taken a few days to go up to Edinburgh to decide if that’s where I wanted to go and live… I had a very reflective moment with echoes of my trip to Macchu Pichu in Peru a few years back. As I sat at the peak  of Arthur’s Seat, the peak of the mountain in Holyrood Park, my mind went back to a similar moment several years before….

At the end of the Inca Trail and exhausted from ill-advised consumption of aPeru 237 yucca (vegetarians, take note..don’t do it) and the high altitude adventures above the glacier line, I had arrived at Macchu Pichu. (This picture, which I’ve used in this blog a couple of times, is me climbing to the top of the pass with my companion, Jeremy (since replaced by Tigger and Snuff).

After exploring for a few hours, I decided to climb the mountain that appears in all the photos of Macchu Pichu – Huaynu Pichu, ‘Young Mountain’. Only 150 people were allowed up there each day, and I was number 148. Climbing the mountain was fine.. but the temple perched precariously on the edge made me nervous (I’m happy about the things God puts up high… just not so sure that the things man puts up there will stay there). So I wandered round the back of the mountain before returning (with some trepidation) to the temple on the front face.

Peru 430Peru 485

By this time, everyone apart from the caretaker had gone, and a strange hush had fallen on the mountain. I decided to take a risk (after all, that temple had been there for hundreds of years). I stepped up to the edge, heart in my mouth, and looked out over the city hundreds of metres below.

It’s an incredibly beautiful sight, but something else caught at my heart that dayPeru 479. The Inca civilisation has a reputation of being bloodthirsty and violent – and yet somehow I knew deep inside how the priest-king had felt… how keenly he felt his duty of care and his responsibility, and how much he held his people close to his heart. It could have been my imagination, it could have been the yucca lodged in my gut.. but something spoke very deeply to me that day….

Fast forward to the present day – looking out over the city of Edinburgh spread out below me, I felt something of the same concern for the people – and knew that I needed to be in Edinburgh.

So I’m chasing flats, sorting finances, and getting things arranged for the beginning of September. Another adventure awaits….


2 Responses to “Coda”

  1. Jackie Walker July 26, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    And we look forward to welcoming you 🙂

  2. Nikki August 1, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    So it does seem pretty certain your home for a while will be Edinburgh… It was so very good to see you again this week, and to have the chance to catch up with you when you came to stay – wish it could have been for longer.

    N xxx

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