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Bill's Challenge: The Woman on the Mountaintop

Updated on December 21, 2014
The Woman on the Mountaintop
The Woman on the Mountaintop | Source

Preface

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.

Seasons

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.

Spring:

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.

Summer:

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:

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.

Winter:

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.

Challenges

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.

© 2014 Linda Crist

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  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    shanamarie, thank you. I appreciate your visit and comment.

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    shanmarie 2 years ago

    Loved it! I find myself relating to much of this character's heart.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Subail (aka Clark Kent), welcome and thank you for your wonderful compliment on my response to Bill's challenge. No explanation is required for the pleasure you attain from exploring nature with your dog. One quick glance at your profile and I was sure that those experiences would be fun with such a beautiful (and big) dog. There is so much to learn and to appreciate in nature and the best things are what we learn about ourselves. Thank you for the visit!

  • Suhail and my dog profile image

    Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

    This is a beautiful reply to Bill's challenge, Linda.

    It came very close to my thoughts about seasons and how I enjoy them, albeit I usually enjoy them in the company of my dog. Needless to mention, I could relate to it fully.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Alicia, thank you so much for your comments. I have always found strength in the mountains and it is one of the reasons I love where I live so much. The song, well, it's been a favorite of mine for a very long time so I was excited to see how well it fit this challenge. I appreciate your taking time to read my response to Bill's challenge.

  • AliciaAH profile image

    Alicia Alarco-Hernandez 2 years ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

    Beautifully written, I loved the way you incorporated the seasons and how it reflects your feelings and experiences at that time. Mountain are a perfect description of strength and how we all can be just as strong. I also enjoy the song, it went perfect with that article. I've heard it before and it always touched my heart just like it did today.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    manatita44, Thank you so much for your generous compliment. We do indeed deal our own cards. I appreciate your visit here.

  • manatita44 profile image

    manatita44 2 years ago from london

    Sweet video, elegant voice and right mood flow for me, at least. Strong woman, we all deal our own cards. You seem to know this. Truly exquisite writing. Great Hub!

    Salaam!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Harishprasad, thank you so much for the compliment. I appreciate that you read my response to Bill's challenge and enjoyed it.

  • Harishprasad profile image

    Harish Mamgain 2 years ago from India

    Irc7815/ Linda,A very fascinating writing and a great response to Bill's challenge. All seasons you weaved with the tale of the determined mountain lady is wonderful. I relished this hub with much...much interest. Voted up.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Randi, thank y ou for the visit and compliment. It means a lot to me.

  • btrbell profile image

    Randi Benlulu 2 years ago from Mesa, AZ

    Beautiful and inspiring, Linda! Thank you!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    ocfireflies - Hello and thanks for the visit. I appreciate y our compliment and vote up too. This was a fun challenge because it touched that "spot" in me. You know the one, I'm sure. It's that spot where the writing happens and you are simply the vessel it comes through. Thanks again!

  • ocfireflies profile image

    ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

    Irc7815,

    Greetings! Having responded to the challenge, I am not reading what others chose to write, and what you wrote is so beautiful. I love how you captured the imagery and roused all of us to be strong. V+

    ocfireflies aka Kim

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Graham, thank you so much! Coming from one who is so gifted at word craft, your comment means a lot.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Sweet Faith, you are4 always such a blessing! You and I have traveled many of the same roads at different times in our life. I know that you understand that place deep within where this piece was born. Early in its writing it took on a life of its own and it really didn't matter any more that it was part of a challenge. As you know, writing is often more about reexamining our personal journey than anything else. As I wrote this, I remembered how often the hand of God led me through the the hills and valleys until I could find my way to the top of the mountain. That presence is such a part of who I am. I think I needed to remember that today and that made this challenge easy. Life is good, isn't it?

    I always appreciate your sincerity and genuine caring that I feel in your messages. Thanks for the support and friendship. You are a gem.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Alexis, thank you for spending time with me here and for your beautiful comment. I found that place many years ago and it has gotten me through every difficult time I was every faced with. Once I started writing this piece, it no longer mattered that it was part of a challenge. It just wanted to be written. I love when that happens. Thanks again!

  • old albion profile image

    Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

    Hi Linda. A first class hub, so well written and I thought your idea of taking your readers through the year was excellent.

    Voted up and all.

    Graham.

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

    Linda, this is so beautifully relatable to all women who have been there and managed to get to the top of that mountain! Hooray! I truly loved reading your creative writing story and you have surpassed the challenge and then some. Who cares what people think of us, so long as we know who we are and know where we have been and how far we have come!

    Up ++++ tweeting, pinning and sharing

    Enjoy the view!

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    Jo Alexis-Hagues 2 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

    There are places on this earth where we can find peace, contentment and inner strength. Places where we can be the best that we can be. The mountain top is where this woman was able to be her true self. A wonderful story, beautifully done, you have surpassed the challenge.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello shraddhachawla. Thank you so much for reading my work and for your generous compliment. I appreciate it very much.

  • shraddhachawla profile image

    Metreye 2 years ago

    It is a real piece of beautiful and sensitive writing, especially how she learns to appreciate changing seasons.

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

    My autumn is great, thanks. I'm off to follow you now.

    Ann

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    annart , Thank you so much for the read, the compliments, and the votes. It is so appreciated. Hoping your autumn season has been beautiful!

  • annart profile image

    Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

    lrc7815: Great story and a lovely response to the challenge. It's good to keep your perspective and determination, to know who you are, to feel alive in your favourite place.

    I loved the description of autumn; it's just the way I feel about it too!

    Voted up ++. Great hub!

    Ann

  • MsDora profile image

    Dora Isaac Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

    Beautiful inspiration climaxing in an ending many women will like to be. Good read!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Sha, you did indeed. I deliberately did not name it because I wanted it to be seen by those who would and could. You know me well. Thank you so much for always looking a little deeper and getting to the real stuff. I adore you. Landslide is my absolute favorite song of all time. It was an after-thought but felt so appropriate. Can't wait to see what you do with this challenge.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Mary, your comment brought tears. I am so touched. You are such a wonderful writer and to receive such a compliment from you is very humbling. This piece took on a life of it's own and as I look back at it, I'm wondering if I really wrote it. lol Thank you!!!!!!!

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    Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

    Excellent job, Linda! Ending with Landslide was perfect. I love that song.

    It's interesting to see how people perceive a prompt and pursue the challenge. I heard Linda's Indian spirit talking in your version of The Woman on the Mountaintop. And I smiled.

    I've decided to accept Bill's challenge as well. It may be several days before I complete it and get it posted, but I was inspired. Bill has a way of doing that!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Miz B! I love you. You didn't need to say anything more than your first sentence. It brought tears to my eyes. This challenge just spoke to me and once it did, all strategy was gone with the wind. i simply put myself on that mountaintop and the let the mountain do the talking. Your comment was thrilling and made me feel such satisfaction that it's really hard to put into words. Thank you so much for letting the work go long enough to share a moment of your day with me. Blessings to you and Mr B too. I am a happy girl today and hope you are too.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

    Wow, this was amazing. The feelings and beauty of your "lady" shone through with each of your examples. How wonderful to be like her and pity the fools that don't understand her!

    For whatever reason I can't vote up but voted awesome and beautiful.

    I also added a link in my hub.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 2 years ago

    Dear friend Linda, this is lovely. The feeling of exhilaration of being on a literal mountaintop is indescribable. The energies are strong and different, and maybe it is because they are above the haze of pollution of the city. It feels like you can see into infinity.

    I know that the idea behind this challenge is to bring out the idea of strength in a woman, even if she is living in a dump in the ghetto. You have defined that woman and that strength and worked it in with a literal mountaintop beautifully. It is a wonderful read for those of us who have actually lived in the mountains because we know the strength both literally and figuratively. Well, my sweet friend, you take care. Duty calls, so blessings to you today and every day.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jodah, thank you so very much. I am humbled by your generous compliment.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

    lrc7815, what a brilliant response to Bill's challenge. You have set the bar very high. Wonderful hub. Voted up.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 2 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, any day that I can add a smile to your day is an accomplished one for me. I simply loved your challenge and could not resist. I hope I did it justice by even a small measure. You are such a treasure! Hugs and lots of love to you and your beautiful bride.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Kindred, I was smiling throughout this beautiful piece of writing. Just lovely my friend. You captured the spirit of the photo perfectly with a rousing tale of validation and love for oneself. Bravo!

    hugs coming your way

    bill