I'd been up for three hours and outdoors for one before the sun came up over the eastern woods. What a gorgeous morning!
Sarah does not need to hear twice the question, "Do you want to go for a walk?" The girl is ready!
The wind had been up before us and working hard, stripping maples of their colorful leaves and and leaving them to stand naked in the new day's light.
Pockets of color, however, remain--popples, sumac, and dogwood here. Also, the gaily tinted autumn cherry orchard and--the best--beneath a giant, bare-limbed ash tree, new shoots of triumphant beech where the old patriarch fell a few winters back.
Beeches, like oaks, hold tightly to their leaves, sometimes right through the winter. Leaves that are buttery-toasty now in October will fade and thin to dry, rattly parchment by January, but they will provide scraps of color, however pale, in winter's otherwise monochromatic woodland scenery.
At last we turned toward home. Sarah and I have been wearing a new shortcut path to our yard, and it's coming along quite well. I'm in hopes it will be discernible through snow for at least part of the winter. But for now, in late October, what a morning! It was gloriously bright and warm and windy and exciting morning outdoors, the best possible prelude to another bookstore day in Northport in quiet autumn.
I was crabby yesterday. I admit it. Still October on the calendar, it was "a damp, drizzly November in my soul." Some days are just like that. But weathers of the soul, like the earth's weathers, are only passing surface events. The core is something else.
...[E]ven so, amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for ever centrally disport in mute calm; and while ponderous planets or unwaning woe revolve around me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy.
- Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
And sometimes the surface is joyous, too. Doesn't Sarah look contented? She does not turn up her nose at fleeting pleasure!