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The Woman on the Mountain - Top (a Writing Challenge)

Updated on January 29, 2019
vocalcoach profile image

Bill Holland, author, issued writers a challenge to write a story using the photo prompt below. I hope you enjoy my story.


The Wind Beneath My Wings

This is my first writing challenge on Hubpages. I thought long and hard about taking billybucs (Bill Hollands) writing challenge. I just wasn't sure I'd be able to do justice to the lovely photo of The Woman On The Mountain Top (Bev, Bills wife.)

My own self-doubt and lack of confidence bubbled into a lather washing my last bit of courage away. Then as the day progressed I found myself mentally repeating Bill's words. "This is an exercise for writers." Okay. So this is an opportunity for me to grow as a writer. I've got to do this. I'm a teacher and I realize the value of exercises. For me they are the building blocks to knowledge.

So, with humility, I begin my story with thanks to Bill for being 'The Wind Beneath My Wings.'

Act I - Where Is Love?

She hikes to the top of the mountain. Here, she breathes in the magnificence of the incredible view before her. She can see forever. The glorious beauty before her is breath-taking. She inhales the earth song wanting to lock it's symphony inside, keeping it for another day and time.

She cries out to the mountain, "What is my purpose here on earth? Why am I here? I have no talents, no gifts to give. I'm not smart or rich. I have nothing to give. I have made a mess of my life and now I live with the choices I have made."

Her mind races back in time as a brief glance of her life plays out the variety of roles she has starred in. Like a three-act-play, Act 1 focuses on her childhood, and dealing with an unresolved need to feel loved.

Her mother was a genius with an astounding mind. And though this woman carried an endless well of compassion for others, there was little to give to the child who would walk to the ends of the earth for even a tiny speck of it. But her mother lived with the shame and guilt of being mistreated in her own childhood. The mental illness that she, herself, could not understand or recognize was a form of torture for her family.

And what about her father? Well, as sweet a man as he was, he more or less sat back and watched the whole show. Oh, there were times when he stepped up to the plate and stopped the abuse. These times were few and far between. Still, she loved him so much.

The young girl prayed for love from her mother. Where is love?

Act II - A Search For Love

Her search for love continued through her teen years and into adulthood. With three marriages under her belt, she had had enough. There was nothing left to give. With her children by her side, she went on to begin her life, this time, on her own terms. And that did not include another husband. She never married again.

A voice came out of nowhere. Soft, yet powerful, echoing through the clouds and bouncing from mountain to mountain, tree to tree and valley to valley. "You have an important purpose here on earth. Your journey has been long and hard in order to build strength of character." The mountain speaks only truth and light. She trusted these words and felt the sting of truth within her very being.

But what has strength of character to do with my purpose here in this life she wondered?



She wanted to hear the voice of the mountain again. She ached for an answer to her question, "what is my purpose here and where do I find love?" Somehow she felt that her purpose and finding love was one-in-the-same.

As the brief glance of her life came to a close, tears of regret filled her aging eyes. A cold chill gripped her body. Just as she was wishing she had brought along a jacket, a warm gentle wind surrounded her entire being.

Then the mountain spoke. "Your purpose here in this life is to grow. Nothing in nature ever stops growing. Even in the winter, there's always a dawning nature in what appears to be the sunset of life for many living things."

Growth in your life, as in nature, comes from a process of maturing through the seasons of your life. Each day, as you grow older, you're in a constant state of personal growth from the personal changes you make, the risks you take, the challenges you face, the decisions you make, the setbacks you suffer, the illnesses and injuries you heal and grow stronger from, and the new experiences you have.


The Greatest Love Of All.

"Nature teaches you to grow through all the seasons of your life. I, too have grown through storms, and the natural progression of the years. I, too have suffered pain, abuse, and neglect from mankind.

Give up your growth, and your muscles, your mind and your spirit will atrophy and die. You must continue to grow. Spring is never very far away in your life, my dear. Live through each winter and let your spirit soar. Begin now to prepare for the new growth that awaits you."

Thinking that the mountain had finished, she began to make preparations to leave. "Wait...I'm not quite finished. You have spent your whole life searching for love. Oh, dearest lady. you've been looking in the wrong place. The love you seek is not found in other people, neither is it found in things.

The greatest love of all is right inside of you. YOU are love. Find that love, feel it, cherish it and become one with it. And when you have discovered this love, go, and share it with others."

And so it is.

Each One Of Us Stands On A Mountain Top

We all, at one time or another, stand on our own mountain top. Maybe it's a time to reflect or perhaps to give thanks and gratitude for a specific blessing or experience. As we stand on our mountain top we can survey with a stronger sense of awareness our own weaknesses.

Like colors on an artist's canvas we are open to our own feelings and allow them to flow freely. We become closer to truth. Feelings must not be judged Feelings are not subject to interpretation or judgment. They just are.

Here, on our mountain, we can express who we are. We can connect with and feel our sense of purpose. It is here that we internalize self-love so that we can love others. We know that the true power in the universe is a totally peaceful power. It is the power of love, totally, freely and joyfully felt.


You Can Have It All - A simple guide to a joyful and abundant life. Arnold M. Patent

© 2014 Audrey Hunt


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    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh, annart, I'm riding on a cloud of happiness after reading your kind and beautiful comments. My confidence in my writing has just leaped upward at an all-time high. And it's here to stay!

      Thank you and I wish you a fabulous New Year!


    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      6 years ago from SW England

      This is one of the best pieces I've ever read. I love the way you use sub-headings to lead us on and the flow is superb. Your choice of words is exquisite... well, I could go on using superlatives but it would take up too much room!

      Great response to Bill's challenge. You certainly are a wonderful writer and you should have more confidence in yourself. It is difficult to stretch our boundaries but, as you say, we are writers and that's what we do.

      Have a great day!


    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Nadine May

      Thank you for such a lovely message. You have brightened my day with such kind thoughts. Happy New Year Nadine!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Hi Aubrey you embraced this challenge by writing an inspiring love story with a great message. Well done.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      Thank you very much for your nice comments. Knowing you are inspired and uplifted after reading my story is rewarding to me. Learning to love who we truly are is so important. Enjoy your day. Audrey

    • shanmarie profile image

      Shannon Henry 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Oh my gosh, how I love this story, especially the last part. What an inspiring and uplifting message. It's so true - love does begin within.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      Dear Gail

      I am bursting with joy as I read this beautiful and very touching message. Being recognized by a writer of your stature is a reward by itself.

      I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate in this challenge. You have been 'an angel on my shoulder' here in hubland for many years.

      Thank you for your kind words, for your encouragement and generous votes.

      Love and Hugs back ~


    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      6 years ago from South Carolina

      Oh Audrey,

      You have outdone yourself with this beautiful story which is filled with so much wisdom and inspiration.

      The ending brought me to my feet in a standing ovation!

      Thanks for pushing through your self-doubt to create this story that does the breathtaking photo of Bill Holland's wife, Bev, justice.

      Voted up across the board except for funny and shared.

      Sending Love & Hugs Across the Miles,


    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      To read your kind and inspiring comment brings tears to my eyes. I've always dreamed that I would one day receive a message from an angel. You are that angel confirming to me that my humble words are worthy of being recognized.

      Whatever I've learned about writing I've learned from the best. And the best are found here on HP including you, Maria, dear friend.

      Thank you for your long years of encouragement and constant support. Heavenly hugs and lasting love to you. Audrey


      Oh, Mary, even webster lacks the right words to describe the joy I feel after reading your beautiful comments. I'm so very glad that I rose above my own fear and doubt and accepted this challenge.

      Writers like yourself have helped me to grow as a writer and as a person. I have so much to learn. I am pretty much self-taught. My younger days were filled with so much fear at school, my painful soul had trouble grasping knowledge.

      Today, I'm like a huge sponge, absorbing all I can - reading, practicing, researching anything I don't understand - to find answers.

      I pray each day that in my final years here on earth I may linger long enough to satisfy my unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

      WE are all love. I send mine to you dear Mary.

      Thank you. Audrey

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Stunning! Your words are as stunningly beautiful as the picture itself. I cannot fathom why you doubted yourself or hesitated to accept this challenge dear friend. I can't say enough what beauty this hub exudes.

      "YOU are love", a lesson for us all that you taught so well. The songs you chose are so perfect! This is certainly a five star hub.

      Voted all but funny and shared.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Audrey,

      You have inspired me beyond belief both by accepting this challenge and with the powerful lessons you have shared in this beautifully crafted story.

      I have written you an e-mail and hope to hear from you as you have time.

      Voted UP and UABI and sharing. Love and hugs, Maria

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      I will never doubt anything you say my friend. And you say it better than anyone I know. Thank you and Happy Turkey Day next week. Audrey

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      This is an absolutely lovely piece of work, Audrey, and I know it was written from your loving heart as well as your intelligent mind. You ARE love - never doubt it for a minute. I have spoken!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Nell Rose

      Thank you Nell. Sometimes I really do think that our life is an open book. When we are searching for something to right about, we only have to look inside.


      Well thank you so much. So nice to see you here and enjoy your day.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A wonderful thought from you. You have created an interesting read. Your message is loud and clear.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      6 years ago from England

      Beautiful writing Audrey! so profound, and a great addition to these amazing challenges! loved it!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh Martie,

      Tears welled up in my eyes just reading the first sentence. The respect that I carry for you knows no bounds which makes your comments all that much more important.

      In addition to this, you are a stellar writer yourself which adds even more credibility to your feed back. I absolutely love your thought, "If we are today still the person we were last year this time, we should know that we are in trouble. Things that don't grow are dying and sometimes already dead". How penetrating!

      Thank you Martie for your support and your encouragement.



    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Absolutely profound and thought-provoking story, vocalcoach! I always had an urge to be on a mountain top whenever I had a serious question like 'what is the purpose of love', and amazing how the mountain - and the heaven above - give us the answers we need.

      The purpose is indeed to learn and to grow/mature. I feel so sorry for people who have stopped growing/maturing even before 20. They have no idea what they are missing. If we are today still the person we were last year this time, we should know that we are in trouble. Things that don't grow are dying and sometimes already dead.

      Voted up and beautiful :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      You are so kind to share your lovely thoughts here Alicia. I do appreciate this very much. Audrey

      Audrey -

      Thank you for your comments which always mean so much to me. Audrey too :)


      Your remarks have touched me deeply and I'm so grateful. Thank you for warming my heart.


      So nice to see you! I must visit you soon. Thank you for adding your lovely comments. Audrey

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Faith Reaper

      Your appreciation of the mountain's wisdom reflects on your own, Faith. Learning to love ourselves is our life's journey and a beautiful one. Learning to love people who have caused us pain is where our growth excels. Thank you my friend. Your votes are appreciated. Audrey


      I must tell you something. It was after reading your own hub on Bill's writing challenge that inspired me to take the 'plunge.' I owe you a basket-full of gratitude. The topping on the cake is reading your lovely comments. Thank you Sha and my self-doubt is now a thing of the past because of you and of course Bill Holland.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      Hello my friend. It takes a life-time to know ourselves, to recognize our wonderful qualities and concentrate on these qualities. This is an important step to self-love. Thank you - Audrey

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      Shat beautiful comments - poetry in motion. Thank you so much Denise.


      Thank you Eric for being here. Your comments mean so much to me. - Audrey


      Hi Mike. I took the challenge and walked through my own fear. Feeling good about it. Thanks my friend. Audrey

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      always exploring

      Thank you Ruby. I am deeply touched by your faith in me and in my writing. You are a stellar writer and I have looked up to you for years. Again, thank you Ruby.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      I am grateful to you for this writing challenge, Bill. Your encouraging comments and constant support provides me with the fuel I need to go beyond my own doubts and just do it.



    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I loved this story ... so inspiring. Thanks for writing!

    • dilipchandra12 profile image

      Dilip Chandra 

      6 years ago from India

      A beautiful hub, feeling like reading the same again and again my friend. Every word was greatly compiled with dedication. Thank you for such an amazing hub.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      What a great response to Bill's challenge Audrey! Gorgeous!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very inspiring story, Audrey. It's a great interpretation of Bill's photo and a lovely contribution to the challenge!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Audrey, this is beautiful. And what a profound message! You can add to it by never doubting yourself. You did a wonderful job of this challenge. Your heart came through on this one. Very touching, my friend.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Beautiful message here, dear Audrey. So true, when we learn to love ourselves, then we are able to love others, even those who are hardest to love.

      The mountain is wise in this piece.

      Up ++++ and away


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Lovely response to Bill's photo and writing challenge. You are so right-we have to find the love within ourselves and love ourselves first. Wonderful message. I enjoyed reading this.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      You have written a beautiful and wise story. I think you accepted the challenge and excelled. Congrates!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      6 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Beautiful! The mountain you have climbed has led you to a discovery of who you truly are!

    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Carson City

      HA!! and if only I could SING! do re mi fa sol la ti do.....Did you just hear that chicken clucking??'re too sweet!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      Oh, my dear friend, I am filled with such joyous warmth upon hearing how you share the same interpretation as I with this beautiful photo.

      Now, if only I could write even half as well as you, my joy would be complete. Your 'thumbs up' for my creation means everything to me. I, so, respect you as a writer (and a woman).

      Stay in my make it such a happy place. - Thank you!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.


      Thank you my friend. I like your comments. Learning to love ourselves should be taught early in life. The ego is not involved in this love. It is the spirit which ignites the spark of love. Enjoy your day. Audrey


      Good morning dear Eddy. Thank you for being here. I appreciate your support so much. Happy thoughts coming your way. Audrey


      Yes, you are absolutely correct. We spend far to much time getting to know others and very little time getting to know ourselves. How can we live a life of integrity when we don't even know who we are?

      Thank you so very much. Have a marvelous day. - Audrey


      Thank you for liking my 'message of love.' It has taken me many years to learn that I, myself, am love. How wonderful this feels. How right it is! I'm happy now that I took Bill's writing challenge. I am growing. :) - Audrey

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      6 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Excellent piece on love and what it means to each of us. glad you took up the challenge.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh Audrey, this is beautifully written. It touched me deeply! Why would you ever doubt about being a writer? You are a gifted story teller, your words penetrate into the very being of the soul, at least that's what this piece did for me. Thank you for taking the challenge into a deeper meaning of life, struggles, then spiritual release. Wonderful...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Your hesitation to write this was unwarranted my friend. This is a beautiful message written with love. Simply stunning work and I am so proud to add it to my collection.

      The love in a writer will always show through in their writing, if they allow their heart to pen the work. You did!



    • fpherj48 profile image


      6 years ago from Carson City

      Audrey....Thank you so much for this beautiful piece. You have echoed the thoughts that this photo has always brought to my mind. The first time I saw it, I could place myself there, asking the Universe all the questions that swirl in our mind as we go through life.....looking, searching & wondering.

      This is the picture of serenity and deep contemplation. You have captured the essence with perfection. The perfection I've come to see in your heart, Audrey......UP++++pinned & tweeted

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 

      6 years ago from New Delhi , India

      " The love you seek is not found in other people..........YOU are love". What a great message of love, and of recognizing the value of one's own beautiful self.

      Audrey Hunt, this kind of sense takes a very long time to take roots in one's mind. I love your beautiful writing. A great response to Bill's challenge.

      These are such powerful and inspiring thoughts ! Voted up and shared.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A wonderful story Audrey.

      There are many lessons for all of us to learn within your story. The lessons start with getting to know yourself and finding out who you are.


    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      I agree with the comment above Audrey. Beautiful and I vote up , across and share.


    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      6 years ago from New Delhi, India

      What an inspiring story!

      You are so right-----we must first find love within ourselves, share it with others and spread it as much as we can!

      Remember the Sun does not shine for itself!

      The trees do not provide shelter to themselves!

      The water does not quench its own thirst!

      A beautiful and motivational response to the challenge!

      Voted up and shared!


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