Saturday, June 02, 2012

addicted to atticus

It's all my mother's fault. "Oh!," she says, almost as an afterthought. "Take this home with you--you can listen to it in the car. You'll LOVE it!" she says of the book on tape that sits on the back seat of her car. Her face is gleeful and her enthusiasm is out of bounds.

She was right. I DO love Following Atticus, the story of a man and his dog and their incredible relationship as it develops and grows through their life and journey hiking the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It is compelling to me as a dog-lover, native Yankee, and admirer of Tom Ryan's engaging writing and down to earth manner. I love that he quotes from a range of authors as their subject matter relates to his own life revelations. From Tennyson to Richard Bach, the nuggets of wisdom that Tom weaves through his story embraces me as comfortingly as a grandmother's afghan.

It's not just comfort, though. I find myself plunging deep into my own layers as I reflect on the observations Tom makes for his life and recognize in them a template for looking at mine. It may be the mid-life "stop and take stock" place where I find myself these days,but whatever the cause I am finding good company in the musings of this writer and the joy he finds with his dog.

I have also found this "following" an opportunity to spend some time with my father. He was a lover of Richard Bach, a hiker of New England mountains, companion to dogs, and possessed a willingness to engage the questions of life. These echoes of my father's soul keep me company as I keep pace with Tom and Atticus. Since this dynamic duo continue to share their journey post-publication on a blog and through facebook, I have the rare opportunity to continue to follow their story and feel a part of it. It feels a bit like I am journeying through my own days with more than suitable companionship, and there is peace and comfort in that.

I commend this book to anyone, though dog-lovers will especially enjoy it. And I owe a debt of gratitude to my mother for introducing me to the wonderful world of Tom and Atticus.

1 comment:

Mary Beth said...

Thank you! I look forward to reading it.

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