Story Behind the Image – The Cleveland Way

I grew up in the North East of England, very close to where I took this image.  the cleveland way

When my brother and I were kids our father would take us and the dog for walks up this path on Sunday mornings.  Rain or shine we would tramp up this hill with each step being heavier than the last – not because it was difficult but because we would rather be doing something else.  It is ironic that although I moved away from the area almost twenty years ago I still go back to this very spot each time I go back home to visit family. 

The image was featured in the PSA Journal a couple of years ago and the editor included the following thoughts:

“A traditional S-curve composition leads us in and walks us to a culmination of human triumph over the rocky steps of life.  With both lightly dappled grey clouds above and deep, rich shadows in the earth below; with just the right kiss of highlights placed across its face – it renders hope for us all.  The two figures at the apex of the hill tell us we aren’t alone.  A perfectly vertical way marker at the right edge of the frame signifies the artist’s intent at a highly crafted image, but it is positioned with ambiguity such that its message of direction to us remains a mystery.”

Although one of my childhood memories, it wasn’t a place that I enjoyed at the time.  However, today when I look at the steps I know that each is a metaphor for life’s challenges.  Some steps are more difficult than others, but life demands that you keep on moving.  Although the summit represents the goal of life and is difficult to see, we must keep on believing that it is there.

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