Girl with Confidence

My 11-year-old daughter woke up this morning, searched for a particular pair of shorts, and ran down our dirt road. She ran for the first time beyond the road’s well-travelled end and down the narrower section, where woods and wild blackberries flank either side.

In the afternoon, she took her sister and me on a tour of Morrisville’s rail trail where she’s sprinted this summer with a friend. With delight, she showed us a bridge over a narrow road, the brewery where we later ate dinner, a tiny house with a glass front, a cluster of ramshackle trailers.

The ride, fragrant with August’s lush goldenrod, scottish thistle, honeysuckle, was a three-dimensional map of her childhood world: a unique, dear  gift.

Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape; but most of all, summer was Dill.

Scout, in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird

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Morrisville, Vermont