The BBC published a wonderfully life-affirming piece yesterday: “Anglesey man’s autism helped by mountain hikes“.
I cannot add much to the article, and I am not any kind of expert in the field (read Simon Baron-Cohen’s studies for that) but I can appreciate the raw therapy of the mountain.
In all the classical books on fellwalking a prominent theme is how wonderful it is to be alone. The crowds and noise and oppressive babble of voices and all those spoken and unspoken needs and expectations crowding in on a man are gone when he walks out alone on the ridge of a far peak. There it is man not against the mountain, which is timeless and undefeatable, but man alone being the best he can be and achieving. There are no critical chatterers, no cruel comparisons, no slowing him down to conform with a crowd, and no confinement in a dull, man-made world shaped and defined by other hands – it is just a man out of dinning society, in the natural state in a landscape carved by the greatest artist who man the mountain and the man. Yes, I understand.