Excerpt from the preface:
I'm writing this preface retrospectively, on New Year's Day, 2016, just before I open the folder that holds the files that my "book" will comprise, this series of personal essays I wrote during a one-month window this fall, thus the title, starting late October and running until late November. It was a warm, spectacular fall this year, courtesy of El Nino, the ongoingly pleasant days just perfect for a splendorous leaf-fall. I have always loved that time of year, every day such a dramatic change from the day preceding, as if time is accelerated, trying to close down the show before Thanksgiving gets here, nature finally revealing, rapid-fire, all the glitzy layers it kept under wraps in the heat of the summer, like some mega-stage magic show, the pace breathtaking.
As you will find out soon, I walk in the woods every day, usually in the morning, for an hour or so, as my wife Carol and I did for years before she passed away last winter. We used to have on those walks wonderfully circuitous conversations about anything and everything all rolled up together, day after day, completely unscripted, always surprising, like elaborate mazes we navigated to pass the time pleasingly together while we walked. We would wonder from time to time what it might be like if we tried to write them down, these meandering, vivid riffs on life, love, time, death, all of it. But, like dreams, about a minute after we got back to the workaday world they were wiped clean, receding simply into our nervous systems as a gathering residue of embodied wisdom, or wackiness, which are, we both agreed, right next to each other, sometimes even simultaneous, on the tachometer of human understanding. These walks and these talks somehow kept us grounded, steady, ready together to take on what we had to take on to make a way in a world where "normal," or at least a convincing simulation of it, is often obligatory.