Only 368m high and the scene of so many hard-won training efforts. All of us Keswick runners have our own favourite Latrigg sessions of varying desperate difficulty to educate our bodies into fitness. On Latrigg a hill runner can find every type of gradient and surface required for uphill speed training, for long gradual stamina building, for downhill technique and confidence. Latrigg has everything we need along with myriads of routes for nice easy jaunts on grassy slopes, and through the woods above the river where lucky secret moments are sometimes shared with a deer or a red squirrel. And that summit view of Derwentwater and Borrowdale and beyond is one I have strolled up to via the short way from the back, in times of convalescence, for myself and for friends dealing with illness and injury and even with my mother in her final years of heart failure.
During lockdowns Latrigg has become known as the Keswick runners social club. If we feel lonely we just go for a run up Latrigg from our own front doors and there will be a friend on a path to smile at. Even at night, in fact it’s easier then because our head torches give us away. Some humble people achieve great generosity and that’s the character of Latrigg. It’s a social club, a trainer and coach, a calming friend, a guardian who looks after our bodies and an artist who inspires our spirits. It is a venue for thrilling races and it was the venue for our friends Jenn and Carl’s wedding in 2019. On the glorious summer wedding day, we all assembled near the summit for the bride and groom who had run up from home in a great posse of yellow Keswick vests, Carl clutching a carrier bag with a dress for Jenn and a shirt and tie for himself. During the ceremony it was as if Latrigg held up Jenn and Carl and all their friends as one would hold a crystal up to the sunlight.
And even after all this I am sure there are still new things that Latrigg has in store. I wonder about the old crone; the tree known as The Witch near the summit. And the Tunnel of Love, much more beautiful than the Spanish City, where the light through the trees and the colour of moss is always different and other worldly. If one were to choose a fell to be a role model Latrigg would surely be one of the best mentors for a good life. So much more giving and outwardly less impressive than all around her.
How do you heal a heart that is broken?
You stitch it up
with love in time.
How do you say what cannot be spoken?
You weave it
in a verse and rhyme.
So if I could tell you
the reason why I wake
and take just one more breath.
If I could tell you
of the life inside me
the blood that’s pulsed
inside my chest.
Then I’d tell you a story
of everyday magic
of sunset and moonrise
and sea-washed sand.
Of how I live on the courage I borrow
every time you reach out your hand
From the everyday magic
of teacups and teardrops
from wagging tails and runs in the rain
is spun the thread to stitch my heart up
so I live and love
and breathe again.
you can hear an exerpt from the mezzo-sprano version of this poem here https://soundcloud.com/ella-jarman-pinto/everyday-magic-2019: