Saturday’s Share: Me, On the Edge

At an abandoned rock quarry, somewhere in Montana..Photo credit: James B. Burton


Welcome to Saturday’s Share – Reflections and impressions inspired by and celebrating images from daily life, to add a bit of sparkle to the weekend. Happy Saturday!

Today’s Share is of me, out on a ledge.

It’s a very symbolic picture to me, because it represents many things that have had significant meaning in my life.

The picture was taken in 2000, somewhere near Lewis and Clark Caverns, in Montana. Jim took the picture, at the quarry where we camped on a road trip to Missoula, during our Yellowstone days. We hiked the quarry, and I took some cool pictures, and then Jim suggested that we do some climbing, and got me perched there on the ledge, as a kind of tribute to my bravery.

It may not show when you look at this picture (although I can clearly see it), but I am terrified of falling. It was a narrow ledge, and too close to the road for comfort, and I was nearly frozen into that position I had crept into. Once the photo had been taken, it took minutes longer for me to wiggle my way to a safe spot.

Remembering Jim’s encouragement, while he accepted my fears without pooh-poohing them, and seeing that big and wild Montana sky framed by craggy rocks behind me, remind me that we’ve had adventures, even before we began having children, and how Jim brings out a type of bravery in me I never knew I had, before him.

It reminds me too of a younger version of myself, thinner – and less deep in living- than I am today.

When I was that woman, just about 31 years old, I didn’t know yet that, just a little over a year later, I would become a mother, and that, about three years hence, I would become a grieving mother, and the year after than, again in the summer, I would give birth to a daughter who would make our family as complete as it can ever be.

I also didn’t know then that I was far from finished with going out on ledges, if not literally, then figuratively. I would, in the ensuing years, make my tentative way along the ledges of home ownership, homeschooling, and later, unschooling. I found myself on a relationship ledge, and that my path forward would lead to separation from some members of my family of origin, and creating a new, chosen family that relates in ways that make me feel happy and supported, and able to give happiness and support, as well.

The last two years, I have been edging along another ledge – the ledge of my lifelong dream to write, and to share my writing. It’s been a challenge, at times, and I’ve frozen in place a time or two. And still, just like that young woman I was, on that Montana ledge, I’ve met the challenge, and kept moving.

I wonder what it will be like, to think back on this ledge, a dozen or so years from now?

Do you have pictures of yourself that still speak to you? What do they say to you?

How about literal or figurative ledges? Do they scare you, energize you, or something else? Do you face their possibilities, or stay safely within your comfort zone?

Impressions to share about this Saturday’s post? Feel free to drop a comment, image file, or link into the receptacle below – I love sharing, especially when others share about themselves, too!


  1. Oh my. I love both the metaphor and the picture that illustrates it. I recognize that independent-publishing ledge all right. That’s why I love WANAs, because it’s a teensy bit less terrifying having some company out there.

    • Gretchen,

      Haven’t found the publishing ledge just yet, but I can see it up there. And hear, hear, to what you said, about having company helps. I’ve found that’s true for writing AND unschooling, and I suspect it’s true for all the ledges out there.

      I’m so glad to have networks like WANA and ROW80, and the other unschooling families we know to ease the passage along these scary ledges in life!

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