Sometimes the mountains call to me. Maybe if you weren't born and bred near the mountains, you can't relate. It's a yearning to feel the rocky earth underfoot, to walk unencumbered by sidewalk and crowds, to take in the season, the way it was meant to be, outside, not from a window. Lawd knows, I love my seasons. I love to watch the turning of them, which starts a lot sooner than you know if all you do is watch from you inside.
So, when I feel this calling, I know what I need to do. I heed the call. I usually go alone and not very deep into the mountains these days. I promised Vera, my daughter, you see, that I wouldn't go too far off. But I would not go as far to say I'd always have someone with me on my journeys. That what Vera wants, you know, she wants a glorified babysitter for me. I won't have it. I'm 81-years-old and have been walking these hills, well, ever since I could walk. If something happens to me out there, well, so be it. I'm not afraid. Besides, not many people can keep up with me. And that's the truth. It's a bother for me to keep turning around to ask if my companion is okay. Sometimes, I don't mind the company.
Funny, ever since Vera was a little girl, she'd say her prayers looking at the mountains from her bedroom window. As she grew, she always thought of God as a mountain. Her Sunday school teacher mentioned it to me a few times. Finally I told her it was none of her business what my child thought about God. But later that night we talked about it and I told her not to be ashamed of what she felt, but that sometimes it was best to keep our ideas about God to ourselves.
Hard thing for a child to really understand. Looking back on it, I thought I was teaching Vera, but as it turns out, maybe she was teaching me. I never felt as close to the Universe as I do when I am walking these hills. How about you?
Scrapbook of Secrets, book #1 of the Cumberland Creek Mysteries, has been nominated for an Agatha Award for the Best First Novel of 2012!
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