From the front porch, from the hammock, from the garden, I hear it most evenings. Not the steady soundtrack of frogs, insects, birdsong, wind rushing through aspens, or the red pine swaying in concert. But another sweet sound, new to our land, but just as welcome: urethane wheels on weary asphalt driveway. Our daughter, Nora, the skateboarder, out for her nightly ride.

No one taught her how to skateboard. No one in her family is especially blessed with supernatural balance or even nominal athleticism. No one bought her a skateboard or even so much as suggested it as a possibility. There was just an old, shabby, blue, plastic skateboard in a garage, a relic of her brother’s early childhood, and this she requisitioned and used as her first deck. Initially, she just stood on the board, balancing. Then it was warily pushing herself on flat ground, until, I imagine, she grew either bored or brave and began surfing those wavey stretches of our land. This maturation took little time, no longer than two weeks.

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