Sunday’s Sample: Climbing the sacred mountain
From the Publisher
David Ward grows up on a Montana ranch where he develops an enduring love of mountains and the magic of the high country secrets he learns from his medicine woman grandmother. A vision quest at the summit of a sacred mountain opens his eyes to his future while blinding him to the details.
As a seasonal employee at a mountain hotel, David meets Anne Hill during the summer of Glacier National Park’s worst flood. Out of the ravages of water, they spend an idyllic summer in the beautiful Garden of Heaven.
When Anne is confronted by a stalker on a dark street in her Florida college town, the magic David uses in an attempt to save her changes her and leads them into the dark territory of misunderstandings and the blood of Tate’s Hell Swamp.
From the Book
The month was September: Yellow Leaves Moon according to his grandma; summer’s cold ass according to his grandpa; a season of flowers dying into fruit as the sun transited Virgo toward the celestial equator; and in the urgent foreplay of morning snows and afternoon rains, marmots planned their sleep, squirrels gathered cones and seeds, cedar waxwings looked for berries, grizzly bears migrated down into the river valleys for the fall eating binge, and the mating call of the elk was heard throughout the land.
The year was 1963: the parents drove to Key West and back; Jayee bought two Morgan horses and named them Flint and Steel; Katoya made a record number of wheels of hard goat’s milk cheese and taught herself French; Jack Nicklaus won the Masters’ and Sonny Liston knocked out Floyd Patterson; Joan Baez and Bob Dylan sang folk protest ballads, she sweetly, he roughly; John Le Carre wrote The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Barbara Tuchman received a Pulitzer Prize for The Guns of August; people talked about the Dodgers’ World Series sweep of the Yankees, Dr. Strangelove, Tom Jones, and Credibility Gap; Robert Frost, Clifford Odets and Rogers Hornsby died; John F. Kennedy was murdered and talk began about the facts supporting one conspiracy or another.
Nináistuko was formed 100 million years ago when forces of incomprehensible power and magnitude slammed two slabs of the world together, thrusting the older Proterozoic rock fifty miles eastward up and over the younger cretaceous rock. Many said the great rocks that formed the backbone of the world were piled one upon the other and sculpted into shining mountains by Nápi, the Old Man who created the world from a ball of mud fetched up from the depths of the dark primordial waters by Muskrat.
David would stand upon the narrow limestone and dolomite summit ridge of Nápi’s handiwork (or of a geologic thrust fault) on a cold September afternoon in 1963, because Katoya told him the mountain was in his path. He expected Nináistuko to purr beneath his feet like a large cat.