‘Otter stroke of luck

“the best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself” – Douglas MacArthur

Anyone who knows me well, knows I love walking. I love grabbing a map, choosing a route and just exploring. One of my favourite memories is all thanks to an uneven path, torrential rain and a February half term. 

My parents, my brother and I were spending the half term in the Lake District staying in a family friend’s house. It rained all week, but that didn’t stop us from getting out and walking so we put on our boots and waterproofs and headed to Scafell Pike. Although I, myself, want to summit Scafell, we were just going for a nice walk to a tarn and back. The miserable weather had put off all but the most hardened walkers – which I took as a good sign because surely we must be included in that group now!!

After walking against sheeting rain for a few hours we were all wet and cold and tired so we decided to turn round and walk back down again. As much as life is about persevering when things get tough, it is also important to make sensible decisions and look after yourself. 

It was on the descent that it all started going wrong. My brother was freezing cold (and he reminded us of this regularly). And when he gets cold it is very hard to get him warm again. He had already put on all his layers of fleeces, coats and waterproofs (including gloves and hat), so it became even more pressing to get home. 

Unfortunately about half way down my mum slipped and hit her shin against a rock. She was in a lot of pain and so progress was much slower for the rest of the journey. Just as we were approaching the farm where we parked our car, my dad called us over. I thought he had just stopped to tie his shoelace but it turned out he had spotted something amazing – an otter!! 

We stood there for ages watching it play in the stream. Despite being wet and cold and tired this small creature made us forget everything except how special nature can be and how lucky we were to experience it. 

After getting home we realised that my mum had actually cut her shin quite deeply, and she still has a scar to show from it today. However, for all of us the memory of this walk is not the rain or discomfort or pain, but of our luck at seeing the otter. If one thing had happened differently we probably wouldn’t have seen it. Things happen for a reason and often good comes from the bad. So remember that when things get tough. 

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