I grip the stone with my toes, press my fingers on its rough hot surface, push myself up to stand on a big rock. I am on top of a mountain now. I squint my eyes under midday sun, watching horizons, counting other mountain-tops. I raise my arms, spread my leg, face the sky. I think of a Walt Whitman verse, which I learnt in Dead Poet Society: "I sound my barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world." I take a breath in my belly, open my mouth, and scream as barbarically as I can. This is splendid, being a free woman.
We make our way down the mountain as the sun rises higher on the azure sky. Though it is midday, the heat and the sunlight are still pleasant on the skin. The fresh mountain breeze helps. Leaning in from the sidewalk, bamboos pour shade on my exposed shoulders.Read More