something that my soul absolutely craves in the fall is long rambles through the woods. i think i know, at a cellular level, that i will have months and months when the paths will be impassable, when the trees will sleep with no visitors that don’t have wings. i feel like i rush, rush, rush to get home at the end of the day so that i can squeeze a walk in before it gets dark and the zombies come out. and while the eastern temperate forest is always one of the most beautiful environments on earth, it is elevated to the level of sublime in october. the leaves are red and gold and lemon yellow and blaze orange. they flutter down in showers of rustling ochre that smell like soil and sunshine.

newly bare branches, no longer weighed down with an army of lush leaves, creak in the wind, making almost animal-like sounds: meows, groans, little barks. i cannot trust my senses in the autumn forest; i feel adrift, beyond the control of the world, infinitely edible.

there is more sunshine now that the leaves are shedding, but the sun is lower in the sky and the shadows are darker, colder, especially in the little valleys where you walk through cold drifts of air like herds of ghosts that pull hungrily at your warmth.

frost-burned ferns move in the breeze, swaying like seaweed, but crackling like fire.


under a red maple, the ground is splattered with drops of scarlet like blood. i step daintily through them, half afraid that i’ll emerge with blood-soaked feet.


the tempest of blowing leaves laugh. an ice-bent tree moans softly. the world is executing its last lively dance before the blanket of snow is pulled out to cover it all over until spring.

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