I’ve been blessed with many such moments. It’s one of the benefits of spending as much time as I do in the outdoors. Light always seems to be a vital element. My memory of Tryfan is matched by a stunning sunset in the Blue Ridge Mountains that painted the air beneath a carpet of clouds a fiery gold, but also by a walk through the English countryside when a ray of light pierced dark, foreboding clouds to pick out a small village from the surrounding gloom, and a spectacular morning spent sitting outside my tent watching the sun rise above Geirangerfjord. I’ve previously written about other encounters on Cadair Idris in Wales and on the Laugavegur Trail in Wales. To taste moments of such delight is the reason why I walk.
Delight: it’s an idea that has consumed me now for more than 10 years. My first encounter with natural delight — during a walk in Ivestor Gap in the Shining Rock Wilderness — changed my life. Because of that experience, I ended up leaving my parish ministry in North Carolina to move to the United Kingdom. Since then, I’ve gone out into wildernesses and the countryside with increasing regularity, spending as much time as I responsibly can soaking in the natural world and learning how to delight. If the good Lord should choose to save me, then he will have done so through delight.