Having Visited Shetland…

…I’ve been in the habit of staying informed about these wonderful islands in the North Atlantic and found the BBC’s Island Blogging site. Naturally, I got hooked on the wonderful language of the bloggers as well as I keep myself informed about life there.

A gentle Shetland croft image near Eshaness, North Mainland

One new blogger in particular has caught my attention and, besides having a mutual background of living in America and leaving it to another place as well as having an exciting ability to write, she wrote something that I wanted to comment on.

She wrote of discarding possessions and backpacks as well as asking, ” When you are on your death bed, do you think you will wish that you had spend just one more day at the office?” She sounded like I do at times. (read- “Gift from the Sea”)

The fact of the matter is, a “commenteer” alias Flying Cat suggested that “It’s the things you can do with money that can bring happiness…” and continues with “…usually people who have none who insist it’s not contributory to happiness.” Therefore I feel I have to put my two cents worth into this.

For many years and many backpacking (trekking) trips, I have learned about the joy of only needing what you can carry in your backpack. I have food for the day, I become physically and mentally more awake from hiking. I have shelter against all types of weather with my tent. My sleeping bag keeps me warm. I lack nothing, but still I have such beautiful and rewarding entertainment with the mountains surrounding me…speaking with me and teaching me.

I’m sorry that Flying Cat hasn’t discovered this, yet. I would like to ask the question, What is it that money can’t buy?

It can’t buy good health or a Blue-Throat landing on the toe of your boot to say good morning. It can’t buy watching a bear kill a moose on a mountain slope. It can’t buy the midnight sun nor a steel-white snow covered night. It can’t buy perseverance against a raging storm nor pride from an honest climb upwards. It can’t buy honesty. It can’t buy inner contentment. It can’t buy life nor can it buy wisdom…nor…happiness.

Surprisingly, if one would spend a whole summer in the Laponia mountains, and you would have only a little money on you, you will have the same amount leftover when you leave the mountains. There is nothing to buy that you need and, still, you will boast of the most splendid time in your life. Something to think about?

Shetland coastline at Eshaness, North Mainland

So, in defense of Shetland: finally home, perhaps there’s some truth in what she is pointing out…it just takes wider eyes and an open mind to understand the wisdom with less possessions in this life…and it’s not too late since a death bed lurks ahead for all of us.

I do know, I can be better with this thought, too …now, back to throwing things away!

English for Swedes: “Commenteer” a person, often with others, giving comments on, in this case, blogs.