Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Colors of the Woods in Late October

"There are unknown forces in nature; when we give ourselves
wholly to her, without
reserve, she leads them to us; she
shows us those forms which our watching eyes
do not see,
which our intelligence does not understand or suspect."

~ Auguste Rodin

I love the woods these days. They are long forgotten by most, but it's not unlike the love of your life who often reveals her truest self to you when you are alone together. Those are the moments when true beauty reveals itself. It's in the nuance and the quiet whisper. It's when the walls come tumbling down and there is no pretense, no colorful clothing, no makeup. It's simply seeing her for what she is. That's what walking in nature is like at this time of the year.

To the south of here there are still plenty of leaves in the trees, but up here only the stubborn elms capture my eye. This is especially true in a dark, brooding, and, these days, wet woods. They shine like stars in the night. Occasionally there will be a cluster of them forming a tunnel over the earthen path and it feels like I am walking where only angels have been. And it feels as though a secret is being shared with us. A secret Atticus already knew, but is being revealed to me one fleeting glimpse at a time.

I am transfixed by the colorful elm leaves as the leap off the dark canvas and into the eye, but they are not the only colors in the forest in late October. This morning, during our walk along the edges of Pudding Pond, there were colors everywhere we looked. It's just that they are not the type that capture the attention of most people nor bring tourists. They exist, I imagine, only for those who are ready to see it.


Jan said...

Yes there is still some beauty in the woods as we enjoy these last days of fall!

Thomas F. Ryan said...

Hey, don't rush us, Jan. We've still got nearly two months left of the season. Up here in the mountains winter will come too soon. ;-)