Sunday, August 21, 2011

The World at Her Feet

On the way back from the Adirondacks yesterday, we stopped to climb a small mountain. The hike was short, through a lush forest of maple and birch. The curls of papery bark on the birch trunks fascinated Violet, and she would have spent all day running her fingers over the flaky plates on the maples. But the top of the mountain was her favorite. Despite the brief ascent, the view was stunning, forests and lakes massing at our feet in every direction. The view was not what interested Violet, however. It was the gritty sand and pebbles, collected in the small depressions of the peak’s bedrock. She sat between my legs, picking up handfuls, intent as any scientist in her examinations. Hands close to her face, she held them in one palm while touching them with the fingers of her other hand. She picked them up and dropped them repeatedly, turning them over in her fingers again and again. Another family was on the peak, and we chatted with them briefly. The daughter watched Violet and said, smiling, “She’s got the whole world to look at up here, but she wants to look at what’s right at her feet.”

273 days old

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