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In Scotland we have this pretty nifty thing. Sometimes it’s garbled up with words like “land reform” and “act” and legalese jargon that is hard to swallow but most commonly, you’ll hear us call it a “right to roam.”
You’ll hear us whisper it in the darkest of night, as we traverse through a field and stop to stare at the sky, you’ll hear us proclaim it as we explore peninsulas and hidden alcoves. It’ll echo from the walls as we scramble through caves.
I like to think this right is about a lot more than just land.
I like to think that we have a right to roam because roaming is in our nature. We’ll roam across the mountains as easily as we roam across our minds, and we’ll let both lead us wherever they see fit. We give ourselves this freedom, to walk and explore and eat and sleep where we choose, perhaps because freedom is a part of who we are.
I can’t imagine living in a place where I didn’t have rights to access the land — where it wasn’t in the very nature of people to let others roam across fields and rivers and gorges for the sake of reaching the horizon.
I hope that one day everywhere has the same freedom to the land as here. There’s a great freedom in knowing you can aim for that horizon, and take off into the hills which ever way you choose.