Mid-life Mountain Musings

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


The wind whistled and she pulled the blanket tighter around her. The craggy stone was not the most comfortable seat but the view…magnificent.  Misty mountains under an overcast sky. She was a speck on the landscape of this unspoiled world that still held promise, an eternal hope for a brighter future for her children and possible grandchildren, assuming she lived that long.  Here she wasn’t relentlessly peppered with news alerts of climate change, calamitous storms, the pandemic, sensationalized politicized headlines, and 60,000 unread emails.

She inhaled, 1..2..3..4. The crisp air filled her lungs and stomach.  She held…1..2..3..4, and exhaled 1..2..3..4, dropping her tongue from the roof of her mouth and consciously releasing the tension in her facial muscles.  Her pursed lips relaxed. 

What if this is just the way it’s supposed to be?

What if everything happens in the perfect time and the perfect order?

The Persian poet Rumi said, ‘…The soul is here for its own joy.’  She wasn’t sure she’d been particularly joyous in her lifetime.  Moments of course, but always plagued by some manufactured ideal to live up to.  A slave to the push and pull of what should be, what she wanted it to be, and her personal reality. 

She had an abundance of justifications for not taking chances after having her kids; fear of not having enough security; fear of getting it wrong, fear of wasting time on something that might not pan out, fear of getting her heart broken…again. Were these excuses keeping her at arm’s length from ‘joy.’Had she just been playing it safe, just reacting to life?  What legacy would she leave?  What would be said in her eulogy? Ashes to ashes.  An eagle screamed in the distance punctuating her contemplation.  She stood and stretched, the blanket now her makeshift wings.


Submitted: September 15, 2021

© Copyright 2021 heather barninger. All rights reserved.

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