by Martine Bailey, American historical novelist,
A Taste for Nightshade
The next morning I had to get outside, and so began a period of long walks in the park.
Early November continued bright, with the last sun of the year shining low and coppery over the woods.
Striding through heaps of rusty autumn leaves, I ached to see beauty dying all around me.
I felt completely alone in that rambling wilderness,
save for the crows cawing in their rookeries and the wrens bobbing from hedge to hedge.
I began to make studies in my book of the delicate lines of drying grasses and frilled seed pods.
I looked for some lesson on how best to live from Nature, that every year died and was renewed, but none appeared.