The Golden Wood


“For in the autumn their leaves fall not, but turn to gold. Not till the spring and the new green opens do they fall, and then the boughs are laden with yellow flowers; and the floor of the wood is golden, and golden is the roof, and its pillars are of silver, for the bark of the trees is smooth and grey.”  —J.R.R. Tolkien

Are there passages of books that stick with you?  Words evoked again and again through your varying experiences?  One of the descriptions in a book that I remember best is of the golden forest, Lothlórien, in the Lord of the Rings books.  Honestly they weren’t my favorite books and I don’t remember much about them, but for some reason, that one description is lodged in my memory.  Every year, I look forward to that very late part of fall, when the only leaves left on trees are the pale yellow ones, because it reminds me of that passage from the books.

On our recent trip to Shenandoah, we passed through a short section in the northern part of the park, and the sunlight was streaming through this patch of trees in just the right way to light up all the leaves and cast a golden glow on the surrounding forest.   My mind, of course, went back to that description in the book, and I would have been happy to wander through those golden woods for the rest of our visit.


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