It is the perfect place to celebrate a rite of passage.
As you know, I usually link to a book that has inspired or been inspired by the post-of-the-day. Today, I am going to try something new. Below is end of the text from one of my picture book manuscripts that has yet to be published. I began this manuscript years before I knew about my friend’s amazing tradition. If I ever do get it published I will dedicate it to her. For now, I dedicate this blog post to her.
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Rosie felt like she was balanced on the highest place in the world.
“We made it to the top!” she squealed.
Rosie spun on her toes, threw her head back into the air, and crooned and howled at the top of her lungs. Mama joined in her song and the waterfall of their voices flowed down the trail. The tundra heard them. The balsam tree heard them. The hemlock tree heard them. Even the birch trees, all the way at the bottom of the mountain, heard them. Rosie and Mama spiraled and sang until they fell to the ground, happy and tired.
“I will remember this place,” said Rosie. “This is where my seven year-old legs and eyes and ears and mind—”
“— and arms and hands—,” continued Mama.
“—and toes and fingers and heart. . .” said Rosie, “this is where my WHOLE SELF climbed to on the mountain.”
Rosie shivered, joyfully, in her skin. Every part of her was open wide. Her body, her senses and her mind—they were all open wide. They felt like they were uncurling themselves for the first time, like downy leaves opening up together on the branch of a tree. She looked out at the valley and the lake and the mountains rising up on the other side of the water.
“I want to climb all the way to the top of one of those mountains,” she said.
“Next year?” said Mama.
“Yes,” said Rosie.
“Happy Birthday, Rosie,” said Mama.
Rosie and Mama hiked back toward home as the fiery heat of the setting sun baked the dirt and leaves and bark and stones, and Rosie tasted it all on her tongue like a sweet birthday treat made just for her.
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|A different hike. Maryanne and I at the top of Camel's Hump.|
Happy Birthday Maryanne.