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When the Mountain is Calling… by Autumn Lytle


All That Fills Us
Autumn Lytle

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May 2022
On Sale: May 3, 2022
352 pages
ISBN: 0800740165
EAN: 9780800740160
Paperback
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Also by Autumn Lytle:
All That Fills Us, May 2022

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I freaked out more than a little bit when I first realized I could see Mt. Rainier from my neighborhood. The day has to be clear and the air quality has to be decent, but it’s totally possible to see that giant, magnificent, looming dormant volcano steps away from my back door. And without fail every time I see it, I turn into an overexcited fangirl with zero cool.

I don’t know how, but that mountain finds a way to sneak up on me. I’ll be passively scanning the skyline, minding my own business, and then what’s that, a cloud? A trick of the light? Then BAM. Mountain. Just like that. My son now knows to expect cheers and a good amount of jumping when it turns out to be a “mountain day” as we’ve so creatively coined it.

 

Last year, I was really hoping to make it to Mt. Rainier National Park before winter set in since that’s the destination my protagonist sets out to reach in my upcoming novel, All That Fills Us. I was hoping to get a sense of what the park looked and felt like during the fall, since that is when she’s set to arrive. I’ve only ever been during the summer months, and I worried I was writing about this gloriously brilliant fall mountain landscape when in reality everything is dead and covered in snow.

 

So more or less on a whim (after checking the weather forecast 20 times and successfully talking myself out of the trip and then back into it an additional 20 times), my little family and I made the 2.5 hour trip to Mt. Rainier National Park. Even with a 1-year-old who had decided naps were no longer in style, it was a lot less grueling than our last pilgrimage to the park. That one included a 34-hour car ride, a campground with murdery-vibes, and shoving handfuls of gummy bears into my mouth to keep me awake while driving down a deserted highway in Montana somewhere around 3 am.

 

The day was overcast and as soon as we headed out to hike the Skyline Trail in Paradise, it started to drizzle. The weather forecast I obsessively checked the whole way there did NOT say rain was a possibility, so it makes me feel real good that the people who run the weather app make a living telling lies. No matter, though. We traded our flannel and fleece for raincoats and rainsuits. Which signaled to the universe that it was time to stop raining and once again become a glorious overcast day with little pockets of sunshine. For some reason, my son didn’t seem to fully appreciate the life of luxury he was living in his top-of-the-line hiking backpack, but other than the constant scowl on his face he more or less kept his opinions to himself.

 

Truth be told, I think I found the trail even more beautiful than when we visited in the height of summer. There was a stillness to the air that I don’t think can be found anywhere other than a mountain. The crowds were thinner, the air crisper, and everything had a raw and wild quality to it. Looking out at the river snaking its way down to the far off mountain ranges while the wind bit my cheeks and air scraped my lungs (thanks to lugging 35+ pounds of baby and carrier on my back), I felt aware of the privilege of living more so than I ever do back in my daily life.

 

I read a book recently that said that “once you come to know that in Christ, God is forever overcoming the gap between human and divine.” The book speaks to the idea that Christ is in everyone and everything. Some people and places in my life are solid evidence of that. Mt. Rainier especially. Climbing that trail, breathing that air, being in the mountain’s shadow was proof of that gap being overcome—our human world and the divine one coming together to reveal God’s glory over and over. I think God gives us these grand reminders of his presence in our world so we remember to also look for him in the hard to reach places. The less majestic things. The difficult-to-love people.

 

I've been those less majestic things. I've been that difficult-to-love person. Especially during the hardest years of my eating disorder, it was hard not to sink into self-loathing, convinced there was nothing left in me worth saving, or worth much of anything at all. But my God is a God of beautiful creations. He's the God of the mighty mountain and each fiery red leaf dotting the bushes along the trail. And so I take in the views. I take in the sunlight breaking through the clouds and the blue glacial waters and the weathered rocks. And in it all, I find the beauty and worth God must still, and has always, seen in me.

 

As we headed down the mountain and placated our trooper of a son with veggie straw after veggie straw, I knew we would remember this wind-whipped afternoon for a long time to come. We had been filled with God’s presence, not just from the mountain’s shadow and glacier streams, but from the conversations and companionship that climbing over slippery rocks and through muddy puddles often brings. We were leaving full of the goodness of God. That, and veggie straws.

ALL THAT FILLS US by Autumn Lytle

All That Fills Us

Mel Ellis knows that her eating disorder is ruining her life. Everyone tells her rehab is her best option, but she can't bring herself to go. Broken and empty in more ways than one, Mel makes one last-ditch effort to make hers a story worth telling. She will walk her own road to recovery along the lesser-known trails of the North American wilderness.

Though she is physically and mentally unprepared to face the difficulties that lay ahead, she sets off on foot from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and heads toward Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State. During the long journey, she meets strangers with their own stories, as well as ghosts from her past who can no longer be ignored. But though the land she travels threatens her success at every turn, it's her own dark thoughts she'll have to overcome in order to find peace in the life and the body she has been given.

With pitch-perfect timing and delightfully witty self-awareness, debut author Autumn Lytle masterfully leads readers on a journey down the hard path toward healing.

 

Women's Fiction [Revell, On Sale: May 3, 2022, Paperback, ISBN: 9780800740160 / ]

Buy ALL THAT FILLS USAmazon.com | BN.com | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Love's Sweet Arrow | Walmart.com | Book Depository | Target.com |

About Autumn Lytle

Autumn Lytle

Autumn Lytle identifies with a strange group of humans who enjoy running long distances and writing even longer books.

Along with being a forever recovering anorexic and exercise addict, she is a weirdly good checkers player and finder of four-leaf clovers. She spends her days thinking up stories and trying to figure out this whole parenting thing with her son. She can often be found out exploring her hometown of Seattle, Washington, with her family in tow.

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