Posted by Ed 10 days ago
‘Between changing nappies, dressings, and treatment regimes, initially I simply couldn’t summon the headspace to ride bikes. Eventually, with my utopian hopes for a potential cure being repeatedly crushed, I began to accept that I would need to deal with this disease as a chronic illness. This wasn’t just going to be a turbulent chapter within the otherwise settled book of my life. If I wasn’t going to be able to add days to my life, I wanted to make sure I would add life to my days.
I find myself becoming aware of the well-travelled route connecting two points, its path uneven and battered from overuse, clearly visible from a distance like a fault line that slices through its pristine surroundings.

Scalpels have travelled this path all too often, retracing their steps from sternum to pubic bone, circumnavigating what is left of my belly button. As I reach up to lift my bike off the bike rack, the scar across my abdomen sears as it fails to stretch sufficiently to allow the motion.

My local stomping ground, the Lake District, is one of the wettest areas in England. Autumnal storms batter the mountains with heavy rainfall, and downpours purge the air of its impurities, yielding an aftermath of dazzling clarity that accentuates the landscape’s texture and lays bare its imperfections.

With time becoming increasingly precious, I have become obsessive about these settled interludes. The sight of a sunrise or sunset from a mountain, well above a layer of clouds, has developed a dual meaning for me. I need to witness these wonders as often as I can. Perhaps you only begin to truly appreciate the view from a clear summit when you are otherwise stuck in a dark valley, blanketed under ominous clouds.

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