Bill's Challenge: The Woman on the Mountaintop
My friend and kindred spirit, Bill Holland, challenged his friends to write about "the woman on the mountaintop". Bill is a gifted writer who inspires and motivates others to be their best self always. He is a teacher by nature. Something about Bill's challenge spoke to me. Perhaps it was the title alone. I'm not sure but, I love the mountains and have always found more peace on the top of a mountain than anywhere else on earth. I could not resist Bill's challenge. You can read his challenge by clicking "here.
What you are about to read is my response to Bill's challenge.
The Woman on the Mountaintop
They said she couldn’t do it. Not her. She wasn’t made of the stuff it would take. They saw her as weak; maybe even a little crazy. At times she thought so too but she would never let them know it. She was determined not to let them see what their insults did to her. She was stronger than any of them knew and one day she would prove it. She would stand on that mountaintop and they would know.
Her life had been one challenge after another. She had faced them all. She had stared into the face of illness and betrayal. Time and time again she had watched as girlfriends turned their back on her and men abused her. Over the years she had enjoyed wealth and, reveled in poverty. There wasn’t much difference between the two as far as she could tell. She was just as lonely when she had money as she was when it was gone. That was the one constant in her life – loneliness. She would never tell you that either but it was different on the mountaintop. There, she was never lonely or alone.
They say she thinks too much.
Some said she spent too much time thinking; that she needed to get out of her head more. It seemed that none of them understood that her head was connected to her heart, just like her spirit was connected to nature. The bond was invisible to the eye but for those that took the time to see, it could not be more evident. On a good day she might even admit that she was thinking too much but, she would also tell you that the inspiration for her thoughts came from things in n nature. She would dare you to tell her that was a bad thing.
When she stood on the mountaintop, she was invincible. Nothing could shake her. She was a woman with deep roots in those mountains, Up on the mountain she felt connecte4d to the source of all life. It was very different in the city, In the city she felt disconnected from everything.
The mountaintop held special memories for her. It was where she learned to appreciate the changing seasons. It was where she learned to love the rain and the sun, the thunder and the lightening. On the mountaintop nature spoke to her and she listened.
From her place on the mountaintop, a gentle Spring rain was cleansing. She never worried about getting wet or worried that the rain would mess up her hair. She wasn’t like that. No, that gentle rain washed away her pain and took her mind off of the things that hurt her. It was impossible to hurt so much in Spring when flowers were blooming and the grass was turning green. It was her happy season.
When the sweltering temperature of Summer sent most people inside to sit by the air conditioning unit, there she was, standing on that mountaintop with her skin exposed, letting the solar rays turn her skin the color of warm cocoa. The sun loved her and her skin loved the sun. Something about a summer tan just made her feel healthier and happier. She just didn’t worry as much in the Summer season.
Fall was her questionable season. She never quite knew what to expect from Fall. When there had been enough rain and the first frost came on time, it was a beautiful time of year. It was hard to confine her when the leaves popped in colors of bronze, crimson red and, tangerine. But, sometimes Fall was disappointing. It all depended on the weather. Heavy rains that came too soon could strip the trees of their fragile leaves and steal her joy of the changing season. Fall could sometimes leave her moody and that would give them reason to doubt her again. It made her appear weak and she hated that.
Some found it strange that she loved Winter so much. It was, perhaps, her favorite season. This was her time for reflection and introspection. Winter on the mountaintop was quiet. It was a sacred silence that allowed her to hear the snowflakes as the drifted on the wind. A lone acorn falling to the forest floor could rattle her senses and her sense of security. She would get in her head again and question the solitude that brought her comfort. It was never really fear but it made her uncomfortable. That’s how it was on that mountaintop. It was familiar but unpredictable too.
Winter was her time to retreat into a more sacred and quite place where it was easier to sort all the things she felt so deeply within her soul. It was a time to quiet the voices in her head and to listen to the voices of her heart. Everything mattered to her and her empathy for others could overwhelm her at times. Winter was a good excuse to hide out. It was a time to lick her wounds and heal. It was a time to grow and the mountaintop was a good teacher. It made her feel small in such a big classroom. It made her humble.
She was as unpredictable as the seasons and it made them think she was weak and a little bit crazy. She knew she wasn’t weak but she was never quite sure about the crazy part. If you asked her she would tell you she wasn’t sure. But, she would never admit to being weak. It simply wasn’t true. She could do anything she set her mind to. Failing was never a consideration if she felt passionate about something. Obstacles were nothing more than opportunities and she loved a challenge. A challenge was a chance to prove she could when the rest of the world thought it impossible. The word impossible wasn’t in her vocabulary. Nature had shown her too many times that anything is possible if you believe.
She couldn’t count the times they had told her it would not rain but it did. She had argued with them when they wanted to cut down a tree. They said it was dead. She said it wasn’t. It wasn’t. When they said the reintroduction of wolves would destroy the balance of things in Yellowstone Park she prayed that the opposite would occur. It did. These were the miracles that lived inside her and she knew them as relatives. They were familiar and sweet and filled her with wonder and hope. Nature had proven them wrong so many times and she believed in its power and majesty. It had shown her that nothing was impossible if you believed. And, she did.
They said she was a little bit crazy.
She was stronger than they knew. If you looked at her, you might not see her strength. It was a part of her very core. It lived in the center of all she was and never let her down when she called on it. It was a strength rooted in ancient wisdom and taught to each generation by the elders. It was as old as the mountains that she looked to each morning to remind her of her ancestors. They were the source of her strength, both the mountains and the old ones who had passed their courage down through generations. Her struggles were small compared to theirs. Generations before her had endured famine and war, floods, disease, and forced relocation. They never gave up. Those mountains had served as the guardian for every generation of her people. Those mountains were the source of food and shelter. Those mountains gave her people life and held their tired bodies when it was taken away. The mountains were sacred.
It is there, on a mountaintop where you will find who she really is. It is the place she is most at home. When you meet her in the city you may think she is weak, maybe a little bit crazy. But if you will go with her to the top of the mountain, you will see her soul. The woman on the mountaintop knows who she is. The woman on the mountaintop knows no fear. That woman on the mountaintop isn’t afraid of a challenge and she will prove it. Is she a little bit crazy? Probably.
Please, enjoy the work of some other great writers who answered Bill's challenge.
- Writer's Challenge from Billybuc: Woman on the Mountaintop by MizBejabbers
A despairing woman finds strength from the spirit within. She scales the mountain of life. This is in response to A Writer's Challenge from our fellow writer and friend Billybuc
- The Woman on the Mountaintop (writing challenge) by bravewarrior
Writing prompts are a great way of keeping your creativity alive. This story is in response to a fellow writer's challenge. I hope you enjoy it and take on the challenge yourself.
- The Woman on the Mountain Top by tillsontitan
She never knew she would be the woman on the mountain top.
- The Woman on the Mountaintop (a writing challenge by Bill Holland) by Jodah
This short story and poem are in response to a writers' challenge issued by Bill Holland (Billybuc) to write a story or poem based on the photo titled "The Woman on the Mountaintop."
- Eric's Response to Bill's Challenge: Woman on the Mountaintop. Just What is a Mountaintop experience
Just what is a mountaintop experience anyway? Well here is one you will not soon forget.
- The Woman on the Mountain Top: A Short Story by Jennifer Arnett
A woman flees to the forest in the middle of the night. Hunted down by federal agents, she battles the elements with nothing but the shirt on her back.
- The Women on the Mountaintop (The Billybuc Challenge) by MsDora
Show me women who deserve commendation in their natural roles as mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives; I will show you women who have secured their place on the mountaintops that matter most.
- In Response to Bill’s Challenge: The Woman on the Mountaintop. Prose, by Manatita
A short story of seeming hopelessness turned to balms of Light when an old man begins to remember and reminisce on the story of 'the woman on the mountaintop.'
- The Woman on the Mountain Top by Nathan Kelley
I am taking the challenge. A short story of the beauties of life, love, and happiness.
- Response to the WRITING CHALLENGE from Bill Holland: THE WOMAN ON THE MOUNTAINTOP; A Story of Ambiti
A response to a challenge laid down by billybuc (Bill Holland), to write a story inspired by a photo. A story of ambition and realisation.
- Woman of Hope - a poem by Suzette
This poem I have written is in response to the photo of a woman on the mountaintop. And, that woman is Bev, wife of William Holland (billybuc). This is such a beautiful photo of her taken by Bill, and I have always loved this photo of her. This...
© 2014 Linda Crist