King’s Trail Tours

The wild god points to your side.
You are bleeding heavily.
You have been bleeding for a long time,
Possibly since you were born.
There is a bear in the wound.

‘Why did you leave me to die?’
Asks the wild god and you say:
‘I was busy surviving.
The shops were all closed;
I didn’t know how. I’m sorry.’

There is a symphony of howling.
A cacophony of dissent.
The wild god nods his head and
You wake on the floor holding a knife,
A bottle and a handful of black fur.

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine
And brings the dead to life.

Excerpt from Sometimes A Wild God by Tom Hirons.


Five days from anywhere, and you’re half way through the hike. You left the hut this morning and are slogging it up towards the head of the pass, sometimes shooting glances back as the hut shrinks and recedes into the distance. Your mind wonders, but you’re getting better at catching yourself, and you bring your attention back. Back to your breathing, to the air, to your footsteps crunching in the shingly tundra path. Back to your place in it all. In the wilderness, the world….

Kungsleden Hiking Trail - Northern Section - Highest Point

 

You’ve spent nights out in the wilderness now, with the sun hanging just above the mountain tops in the north, casting it’s long warm glow all around, all night. It doesn’t set. It just seems to get crisper and warmer, and more surreal. Time stretches out, stand still and you feel more and more present.

You’ve hiked up out of the straggling Birch forest, out of the most northern forest on the planet. You’re up above it now. It hung on in the ends of the valleys, climbing up around the bright tumbling streams, but not as high as you. In the Tundra now, with that beautiful warm woody, plant-like smell hanging all around in the sun, and the slow drip of the melting snow patches.

Up here you’re in the newest land, the place the ice left most recently as the ice age receded further northwards. You’ve hiked past the melting snow patches, and felt that ancient time lingering there. It’s the newest land, and it feels like the oldest. It’s raw and alive.

You’re tired. Your legs ache, but satisfyingly so.

Finally you reach it, the little shelter that marks the top of the pass – the highest point on this hike. You tell yourself it’s all down from here. You step past the hut, feeling and watching the valley open up below and in front of you, taking your breath away….

Kungsleden Trail Swedish Lapland - Summer Season - Running Water & Birch Forest

Something breaks open in you. You feel joy. You feel your place in the world. You feel a part of it. You want to laugh and dance and sing and cry. That silent scream is gone. It’s still the morning, and we’re still in our daily silence, so everything wells up inside you, and these people you know so well and so little can hold it all. It wells up inside and there is nothing to do but feel it. The joy of being here. Of feeling your place, of feeling life and feeling alive. You feel like you’ve arrived, and now the rest of the trip is walking and waking. Walking into something new, with the whole valley and the whole world opening up in front of you.

We pause. The group breathes it in together. Standing in silence. Feeling each other’s hearts racing. We circle up, and each share ‘this is how I’m feeling’. Afterwards you know what to do, and whilst the others sit you break out the flasks, and the snacks, and enjoy placing a cup in each persons hand. Once everyone has tea the silence is broken, and we talk and eat, our daily lunch ritual.

You feel joy and amazement. The Wild God has done her work whilst you listened to your legs ache. You just met her, and you realise you always knew her. You feed, and then walk on, with a new lightness in your step, feeling the love and joy that was always in your heart, racing on, and looking forward to that sauna way out in front, and for the first time below.

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine
And brings the dead to life.

Read about, and book our hiking tours here, and our ski tours here.

Kungsleden Swedish Lapland - View near Salka - Arctic Tundra Tour