Friday, October 22, 2010

When the leaves are gold

 As Frodo stood upon the threshold, Elrond wished him a fair journey, and blessed him, and he said:

"I think, Frodo, that maybe you will not need to come back, unless you come very soon. For about this time of the year, when the leaves are gold before they fall, look for Bilbo in the woods of the Shire. I shall be with him."

When the leaves are gold before they fall. I've never found a better phrase to describe my favorite few weeks of the year than the words Tolkien gave Elrond to say in this scene from The Return of the King. They evoke not only the beauty of the mellowing season, but the sense of longing and wanderlust I often feel in autumn, the desire to get in my car and drive for a very long distance.

Autumn, October especially, seems a fitting time for journeys. I've taken many wonderful journeys in October, often for novel research, but this October I've stayed put, mostly here at this desk in my living room. This is the month I dedicated to finishing the first draft of The Quiet in the Land. I almost wish it hadn't fallen on October, because here I sit thinking about new places I'd like to see, and people I'd like to see them with. Wanderlust is nipping at the edges of my soul.

I'll have to content myself with the character in the scene-in-progress, who is about to make a distant autumn journey of his own, as I stay behind and bid him farewell.

The leaves in my own yard will be yellow soon, but the first sign of autumn I have within sight of my windows each year is this tree in my across-the-street neighbor's yard. The tips of this tree are the first to start the annual autumn blush. That was already happening before I left for ACFW, back in mid-September.

The photo below was taken yesterday, at the height of its color, just hours before the wind picked up, clouds moved in, and many of these gorgeous leaves began to drop.


  1. For the same reason, I missed summer (which is not very long in Maine and we look forward for 11 months for it's coming!) I understand the craving to get out and enjoy the season, especially autumn which is my favorite, favorite, time of the year. I tried to remind myself while I was locked away inside (though I did try to steal as many moments outdoors as I could) that this "season" for writing is a special one and I must be disciplined to stay in it for as long as it lasts. Enjoying the little things like that beautiful tree at your neighbors will have to do! Isn't it nice that the Lord planted it there for you.

  2. Carla, I've thought the same. It's much easier to stay glued to this chair knowing I'm doing what I'm s'pposed to be doing. And so far this month the weather has been gorgeous, and we've been able to go hiking on Sunday afternoons. But the autumn rain has finally arrived, as of today, and this weekend will be a soggy, stay home and watch some movies sort of weekend. I also see tire replacement on my car happening, and a light fixture finally getting replaced....

  3. Gorgeous photo! I am so happy fall is finally here. :) And I loved your LOTR quote!

  4. Amazing photo Lori! And I'm a sucker for anyone who quotes from The Lord of the Rings :-)

  5. Ruth & Deniz, there's many wonderful LOTR quotes, but that's the one that mostly sticks in my head.

  6. Anonymous5:16 AM

    What a beautiful photo!

  7. Thanks, Keiki! Glad you stopped by for a visit. :)