Monday, September 7, 2015

I sleep on mountains

We all have natural rights. I believe one of them is the right to dream, at night, on the hilltops.

Most of our rights are written down in law. The right to breathe clean air. To pick and eat fruit from the wild tree or bush. To fish in the sea. To drink water from the stream. Others aren’t written down. Like the right to sleep in the hills.

Wild camping in any unenclosed place – far away from roads, buildings and towns – is one of the most precious things a person can experience. Walking, cycling or canoeing into the outdoors, bedding down at dusk and waking with the dawn, contains a magic ingredient that rebalances our body clocks, re-sync our minds, and makes us feel alive.

I know. All sounds like pseudo science from a snake oil salesman doesn’t it? But the only catch here is a historic one. A 1,000-year land grab so cleverly PR-managed that it has allowed us to lose touch with who we are. Because alfresco sleep helps reconnect us with an ancient tradition of free movement that we enjoyed for tens of thousands of years before it was forcibly removed from us. That change was like being handed a lifetime ban on walking the pavements for no other reason than someone said, ‘Stop!’ So we got angry at first, but then we forgot. And now no one notices anymore.