Thursday, October 28, 2010


October's always been my favorite month. There's nothing like the kaleidoscopic panorama of colors that become the environment. No photograph can capture it, because to truly experience what it's like to be alive this time of the year in this part of the world you have to be out in it, immersed in the particular and in some ways peculiar colors of this season—the bright blue sky today, with patches of cottony white puffs, the sun reflecting off the brilliant yellows and reds, the deeper cranberry and pumpkin colored leaves and trees, the earth tone browns and greens and every possible shade of each of those colors.

To walk through this kind of vibrancy is a unique experience, no matter how many times I have done it since childhood. It's what I moved back East for: the trees, the landscapes of my youth, but most of all these turning leaves, blowing in the breeze like confetti or dandelion seeds, only brighter and more unexpected no matter how familiar these cyclical changes remain, despite the global warming that has led to so much climate unpredictability (it is, for instance, unseasonably warm today, and further West they had the largest storm system ever recorded in the midwest, including the lowest pressure ever recorded in our history, just two day ago).

It's such a magical landscape, people travel from around the world to see it. It's one of the main tourist attractions of the Northeast. But for me, it's a reminder of all that still exists to be so deeply grateful for, despite the lies and distortions and manipulation of the facts that's overwhelming so many of us these days in the world of politics and "news" that rarely even pretends to be about anything other than total blather.

No matter what happens in the coming elections, or how much more damage the rightwing Republicans do to our country and other parts of the world, there will still be these moments of brilliant natural expression, whether through nature or the arts, that will delight and inspire us to recognize all we still have to be grateful for.


Robert Berner said...

Dear Lal--Your posting today is right on key. Yesterday and today here in New Haven have been tops for color, maples glowing as though the viewer were tripping on some really good acid, the mulberry tree in my back yard a golden bough worthy of Greek legend. The only thing missing is that singular aroma of burning leaves that used to waft through every neighborhood when I was a kid in the 40s and early 50s.
People used to rake their leaves out into the street and burn them. Back in those days most streets were either brick or cement and crushed rock and the heat from a leaf-pile fire would not melt the pavement. When asphalt paving came in, most towns outlawed such fires because they melted the blacktop.
We also raked leaves into the backyards and burned them, plus we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows in the fire. But environmental laws from the 60s on prohibited that kind of burning, so anyone born after about 1960, certainly 1965, has never smelled such fires. More's the pity. That smell is one of the fondest memories I have of the 40s and 50s.
Bob B.

Tore Claesson said...

So true. As you know I'm a keen photographer, but rarely do I bother to capture autumn colors. It never seems to come out right. No magic.