The living mountain

A ‘Reading for Wellbeing’ recommended read

The living mountain by Nan Shepherd

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Nan Shepherd has written a series of essays that are a homage to the Cairngorms. She has created a beautiful testimony of her own acute ‘mindfulness’ of a specific place and of Nature itself. One critic has called this small volume ‘The finest book ever written on nature and landscape in Britain’. What made me feel an overwhelming sense of wellbeing was that she took me to such secret, awe-inspiring and intimate places and these are described in vivid, almost luminous detail so much so that all your sense fell like they have been engaged.

This is not an epic climb to a summit, it is a savouring of sleep on the heather of a sun warmed mountainside, of a gentle communion with foals and plants and rivulets. It is a series of thematic descriptions that have been built on years of humble learning from a mountain range. In this way you feel humbled by your relation to nature and the universe and feel the sensations of having been with Nan to places that restore the sense of place and space.

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