Major Charles Wilson is the December guest author of the #MyBiosphere column in Business 365 magazine, published by Mannin Media.
With the wind in our hair we are running along the beach, arms outstretched.
‘Look, gramps, we are flying like the wind’…………….
Standing by Sulby, fishing.
‘Dad, just put your rod down and listen’.
All I can hear is the water lapping at my feet, a dog barking far away and a lamb needing succour. I do as I am told and quizzically look at our daughter, who says………..
‘Right here, right now, there’s only us and God.’
That’s the Isle of Man.
I love it when Mannanan Mac Lir exercises the right to cloak us in mist and to cut us off from the world. Then we are alone. Then we are dependent on no one. We are an Island.
‘Magical’ is often used to describe Mann but where is magic? We make it in and about this place. It’s in our hearts and how we feel about where we live.
Whilst travelling, I am often asked what the Isle of Man scenery is like. My reply is always: ‘Tell me your favourite scenery and I will mix it with a sea view.’
Our topography is so diverse. I enjoy mountains. From Oman to the Pyrenees, there is nowhere to top the walk from Beinn-y-Phott to Carragan and down to St Luke’s, Keeil Abban, where Tynwald was held in 1492 and, who knows how long before that, a hermit monk had a cell there? We feel the history in the stones.
We are here because I met my Manx wife, Ann. We had to go to Germany to effect the meeting but it was worthwhile on all fronts. She is a survivor of fifty years of me and that takes Manx grit!
We wandered, but were determined to give our girls the gift of Manx birth. The old Jane Crookall helped and our two daughters remain fiercely Manx, held by that ‘something’ which grips us all. Our granddaughters adore the Island and, in these difficult times, the cry has been: ‘When can we go to the Isle of Man, mum?’
Think of the enjoyment to be had; horse trams, steam and electric railways, the excitement of TT, all unique to us. Then, when you go to stay on the Calf, to watch the birds and see the basking sharks. It is possible to look back at the Island and say: ‘Gosh, it’s busy over there.’
Set all these enjoyable features against a busy economy, fired internationally, with an accessible legislature to move change and the balance of life drops into place.
We have something very precious and with that comes a responsibility upon all to preserve the good which we have. We have a duty to our future generations to protect our way of life. We need to contribute in detail and to the ‘big picture’.
While doing that, it is too easy to forget that we do have some needy folk who we need to identify and embrace, so that all enjoy the advantages of this beautiful place.
So that hand on heart we can joyfully say: ‘I wouldn’t live anywhere else.’
Major Charles Wilson is a long time Isle of Man resident who plays a full and active part in Island life, both administratively and in the Diocese. He is a champion of ‘causes’ for our military and veteran population.