I didn’t get a chance to share this when I went on this walk with some fellow GWs so 1 year one I thought that I’d share this with you now…
Our Journey on Warnscale like the childless journey.
A difficult, stony path full of others taking the space so we have to start backwards, behind others, late, too late, all the spaces are taken, no room for childless women, you’ll have to go elsewhere, get to the back, others come first. Parents and mothers always come first.
You’re on the the difficult path, on the stony path and the wind is so strong it pulls and pushes, I can hardly move, we are fighting just to walk thru the air. I can hardly move forward but I push myself onwards, so hard to hear each other speak, my ears hurt, stumble, trip, slip, we move, like snails so slow, walking into the bloody wind, give us a break wind I want to shout! It’s so hard being childless and you just make the journey harder.
We cross the bridge, it gets steeper, the rocks get bigger, we stumble on over rocks and into wind. I don’t think we can make it further? I don’t think we can make our spot, hit the mark, make the grade. I know this feeling of aiming and failing. I know it. I want to travel further than I can. I am reminded of limitations. I am disappointed and sad. It’s too dangerous to go on. My body too weak. I can’t.
We struggle off the path and collapse under a hawthorn tree. Tree for the heart. Hearts ease. A pause. The view! Wow. Think about glaciers, great blocks of ice. I have never seen a glacier. I would like to see one. To stand on millions on tons of ice, cold and white. We have a rest, take shelter from the wind. Too tired to climb higher. Too dangerous. We decide to stop. To just stop the journey. I know this point, I know it well. The decision, the turning point.
And so we descend. The wind whips us like a punishment, we cling to hats and to each other. How are you? Are you ok? It’s tough going up but it’s also tough coming back. I know this too. It’s so tough to come back from the wilderness of being childless. You can either sit out on the mountain of motherhood and die of exposure or you have to retrace your steps. And that hurts. Our eyes water, our knees buckle, we sigh into the wind.
We cross back over the bridge. We are at the edge of Buttermere and we meander now at the lake edge. Can we find our way back if we just follow this path? We walk on, talking about our Plan Bs. We see amazing trees, rowan berries, chatty people, people in blankets, people joking with us, dogs, couples with cameras. We walk through a tunnel cut in the rock. I love it! Like a spooky adventure, a rebirth from dark rock. I imagine skeletons lurking. I laugh into the darkness. I have my friends with me now.
We finish at a tearoom full of men eating ice cream. We are getting attention I notice. We have journeyed together from women who had no room this morning to women who take our space. Who turn danger and disappointment, sadness and loss into new space. Our space. Our lives. As rich and as beautiful as any other. The tearoom welcomes us. The ice cream eaters smile at us. I smile at us and I’m grateful for my life.