Thinking about what’s important in life, there’s so much that can go on a list.

Getting to the kernel of what it is that, looking back, you’d regret having wasted time on or perhaps neglecting this time around, is not that easy.

Family, friends, adding to other people’s lives – enjoying your time here.

Modern lives are complex, with plenty of need for compromise.

Avoiding distraction is key to focussing on the items youhave on your list.


Over the hill, perhaps, though not long in the tooth.

The hill’s steep.  On the ascent you encounter

ice falls, overhangs, precipices and chimneys,

interspersed with long, sloping meadows, thick wooded

rises with warm, safe shelters with hot fires, soft bunks.

Air’s fresher up on a hill – clearer; providing

moments of crystal clarity, waking senses –

opening the sinuses, powering the lungs.

You can see for miles, the views are spectacular,

and you can look down, see how steep the climb, how far.

Climbing strains the muscles, tests lungs, puts you through paces;

raw throat, aching limbs, you reach a crest – take a pause.

In that moment, there’s a gap.  Amidst and between

the fighting, the surging, the slogging on.  That’s real.

That’s life. There, in the gap.  The climb is our greatest

distraction; life’s there, you only need to notice.

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