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My childhood world was very defined by two landmarks: McGregors Mountain and Deer Mountain. Our cabin was in between.

Lesser boundaries restricted my activities, but these two visual statements punctuated every day for me. I watched the sun rise and set on them, and my world was so contained.

I came to know them and to fear them, in very different ways.

McGregors was off-limits; rock climbers died trying to face that magnificent, expressionless face of a rock. There was no way we would go there.

By Deer Mountain had polite, practically civil trails, and you could wander for hours in many directions. And we so did.

One day we followed a trail 5 miles into Estes Park, proudly phoning parents who informed us we were capable of following the trail all the way back (and so we did, chaffeur-service unsympathetic and limited). But the boundaries we did explore and revisit. It was invigorating!

But I have nightmares still of McGregors, of that great rock falling. It was a limit too far. I will always fear it, the nonsense of thinking one knows more than the mountain.

Our world was explored and defined, and we knew our place within it. I have never known such peace, although at the time such frustration. I had read books, and knew the world to be bigger.

And world-traveler I am now, I know the universe is smaller. It defers to those places we once knew as boundaries, as those challenges face us still.

I long for those mountains, for that peace, and for the adventure of discovery.

It was more about what we could do, and did do. And what I still could do. I see their profile in the fading sun, and know there is still time to return home.

The mountains will wait for a wayward child. They have forever.

- Mary O. Fumento, 2007

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