Ingrained in us as humans is the maxim: “Carry on Regardless”. We’ve muddled on though the odds are so stacked against us it seems unimaginable to continue; that which has to be done, gets done. There is no alternative. No possibility of deciding: “Bugger this; Way too difficult and I’ve had enough.”
Having had enough is not an option. There is only one direction to go and that has always been forwards. So onwards we stumble, regardless of the cost, regardless of consequence.
Sometimes it pays off. Being the last one to blink often helps in a situation where one is surrounded by those more fearful, more cautious. The ones who think they know the answers before the questions are asked.
I’m not sure how many times I’ve asked myself whether any of this dedication is worth the level of anguish and exhaustion I face every day. Whether all this indescribable beauty that is my daily pleasure would remain as fabulous and inspiring, if I just walked away from it. Deep down I know the answer could probably be “Yes”; And so I accept that it is my bloody ego that keeps me tied to this situation so aptly defined by Andre Reitz, our beloved vet, as one of “Genteel Poverty”.
Comforting though, is knowing I do not face this dilemma alone. Andre had so perfectly described the situation because I was not the only person he knew faced with similar circumstance. So many of my dearest friends also live as best they can, balancing on the edge. The walking away being impossible, due partly to ego, mostly to responsibility; one simply does not blink, if you do, you are done. Really though, there is an addiction to the beauty of this place which is The Crags. An addiction to the smell of early morning forest; to the suddenness of sunlight bouncing out from behind Mt Formosa; to the mournful song of the Fiery Necked Nightjar through summer evenings.