Sunday, November 13, 2011

An Autumn Invitation

I was in Virginia last week. It was a treat walking through the different neighborhoods and seeing the trees in their autumn beauty. I wondered if the trees back home in my more northern state would have lost their color by time I returned. I imagined their brown remaining leaves clinging momentarily to the branches before, with a windblown sigh, they released them all to the claim of the season. So I was happily surprised to see the vivid red and gold lining the streets of my own neighborhood when I went home.

Even with the pending barrenness of the trees and the nip of the fall air, I appreciate autumn. It lifts my spirits in a way no other season does. There is drama all around. I can’t imagine anyone not being affected by the brilliance of the trees. I agree with Albert Camus: Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. I am also cheered by the tufts of mums adding bursts of yellow, purple, orange, and red to the crisp days.

But there is also a sense of wistfulness, a look back at the summer just past where the sun stayed high longer and invited us outdoors well into the night, when the sometimes baking heat would give way to the refreshing relief of a day at the shore or the embrace of the cooling indoors.

I think the change of seasons is the perfect time for rethinking. I know it shifts my awareness out of the usual and promotes a different state of mind. Autumn does this with an intensity that’s hard to ignore. It offers a door into imagination and each burst of beauty beckons, an invitation to enter.

The US Forest Service tells all about autumn:

Some quotes about autumn:

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