Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The Coming of Light

A Jackson summer day with a trundling Will.

I don't mind the early dark of the season. It gives me a greater appreciation for the nests of light around our home provided by various lamps as if each is a separate island in a sea of shadow. It offers me the opportunity to become dazzled by the dancing flicker of a candle flame as its tiny warmth and circle of illumination reaches to me. It reminds me of the comforts of books and soups and tea; of the charm of finding coziness. We are two and a half weeks away from our darkest day of the year, right before the days slowly stretch themselves out and the night starts to shrink. 

All of that being said, today this photograph called to me. It's of a summer day in Jackson. Will is trundling along near the high grass and the hidden bears and all that we don't see in abandon of summer growth while Mount Washington overlooks everything from far behind. I was drawn to the light, to the green, to the vibrancy of both flora and fauna, and one little life sending ripples of reclamation out into the universe.

In a way, this photograph doesn't belong here today, for these are troubled times in the world and dark nights and short days in nature. But in other ways, this photo of Will means even more. It is, after all, the season of Advent, which brings with it the light of anticipation. Advent, in part, means "coming." When something is coming, there's something to look forward to. That's something to celebrate, for no matter how dark the world may seem because of how people act, or by the location of the sun and the earth and the rotation of the seasons, there is something to behold when we realize we can still celebrate the coming of a new day.   

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom, you always seem to know what I need when I need it. Hope to meet you one day!

Anonymous said...

Your thoughts inspire and comfort....

Carrie said...

There are days when I read your blog and I'm not sure what to say....I just think that what you have written touches me & makes me think. I did want to post something though, to let you know I enjoy when you write out here. For whatever the reason, whenever I read it, I get a sense of peace.

Chris Gestvang said...

Advent.....perfect.

Melinda Stephenson said...

And all those beautiful shades of green!

Dana Dewhitt said...

and one little life sending ripples of reclamation out into the universe. Rush of tears. Completely dedicated now.

Lynni OHaver said...

Sending you warm thoughts and a hug....that's what I felt when reading tonight's blog. (Sigh....)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo and also the words you write, beautiful..

Betty and Lenny said...

Hi Tom,

Amen to the coming of a new day.

Tonight, in celebration of Hanukkah, we lit candle number three on our Menorah. The Festival of Lights is my favorite holiday. The flickering light from the candles makes me feel grateful and peaceful.

Sleep well tonight dear friends and enjoy the days to come. {{{Hugs}}}

Betty

Linda P said...

Indeed your photo does belong here today. More than ever we need to see the peace and beauty that is around us just as Will did and you & Atticus continue to do. Beautiful thoughts.

Kathy Downey said...

Thank you for your lovely, evocative words, Tom.

Marryrr said...

Hi Tom and Atticus, just finished reading your book. Thoroughly enjoyed the story, the excellent writing and the many disccoveries you made along the way. I could especially relate to how walking in your father's "footsteps" allowed you to understand and accept him, and yourself, despite the flaws. I've taken on a similar endeavor through my immersion in my late father's hobby of model railroading. I am selling his 75 year collection and blogging about it. Oh my! I've discovered so many things about him, and myself, through the process. What a gift. I feel very fortunate to be on this journey. How blessed you are to have had your little Buddha spirit you up the mountain so that you could see what you might not have otherwise. LOVED IT!!!

dcdashe said...

Just now catching up on your blog. Loved this post. In contemplating your reflections on light, I am reminded of a quote from The Christophers - "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness." May we all be that one candle. You and Atticus are definitely that light!

michele connor said...

Just finding out about your book and adventures - wondering if the context is appropriate for a middle school aged granddaughter who loves dogs???

Unknown said...

Dear Tom and Atticus, I'm reading your book to my friend Addie, who is 91 years old and has a 13 year old yorkipoo who went blind just like Atticus...almost overnight. Thank you for sharing yours and Atticus' story...helps Addie and me so much.