Good Morning, August, from the Book Tuck Everlasting

Hawk’s Bill Crag in the Ozark Mountains

In the above photo, you see a view of Hawk’s Bill Crag, which is in the Ozark Mountains. It is 38 miles from my house. While this is not the Alps, the Ozarks is a hilly-to-mountainous region, and in places, the terrain is downright steep. While Hawk’s Bill Crag is only 38 miles from my house, the trek is treacherous in places, and the journey there requires more than an hour of driving time–each way.

Jacki Kellum iPhone photo of a creek near her house in the Ozarks

I took the above photograph of a creek that is about 41 miles from my house, but that spot is in the direction that is opposite to my drive to Hawk’s Bill Crag. You see, the Ozarks is a natural wonderland, and it is filled with waterfalls, springs, creeks, lakes, rivers, rocks, and ridges. In places, the area seems to be almost primordial, and because of that, Hawk’s Bill Crag was a great place for the opening of the movie Tuck Everlasting to have been filmed.

I moved to the Ozarks from the New Jersey Shore, and while I was living there, I enjoyed visiting the Pocono Mountains. Hear Me: New Jersey and the Poconos are regions where the temperature is not as hot as it is in the Ozarks.

As the calendar crawls to the first day of August, and as I continue to languish in the hot, summer heat and humidity of August in this area, I love to recall the opening lines of Babbit’s book Tuck Everlasting.

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”

― Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

Tuck Everlasting is a beautifully written chapter book for kids. Today is the first day of August, and I think that it is totally appropriate for me to recite the first paragraph of the book Tuck Everlasting. I’d like to lie and say that today, I’ll climb to the top of Hawk’s Bill Crag–simply to make my celebration complete. But today, it is too darned hot to move much at all. I vow to go to Hawk’s Bill Crag in October and to sing Babbit’s song–two months late. That is the time that the Ozarks region wears its coat of many colors, and driving anywhere at all is a feast.