Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2283500-Autumn
Rated: 13+ · Non-fiction · Nature · #2283500
What is autumn?
My neighbor’s is clad in gray. The siding, the roof tiles, even the paint on the brick chimney, are gray. The only break in the sameness are the terra-cotta colored chimney caps, too small to do other than hint other colors exist.

Two shrubs, one in front of the house, the other on the right side, press against their respective walls. Their leaves are crimson, and the structure a mere background to their bloody beauty. Not only my shrub-owning neighbors and I benefit. The red-pink color brightens the eight or so surrounding homes, and is a highlight of this street’s October display.

Framing the house are over a dozen trees dressed in other Autumn colors—burnt orange and salmon, gold and it’s cousin amber. Their branches are sparse in places, missing those leaves lost to wind and time. A few live on in middle school ceramics projects; the remainder rot into the soil or are relocated to the local composting site.

We—my husband and I—discuss how the late August leaves are beginning to turn color, and track the slow progression. “That entire branch is yellow.” “Look at the mountainside with the patch of orange.” “Fall will be here before we know it.”

The temperature drops one night, and we wake to a canvas of purple, red, and orange. Terms such as “painting the trees” fail to describe the remarkable blast of brilliance we encounter each fall. Summer is past. The flowers are gone, and the heat bugs and crickets no longer seek mates. Winter is an abstract, a distant place, white and cold and harsh and barren. Autumn gives a defiant middle finger to both, with displays that rival summer and bring us heartened and joyful into the upcoming winter.

Autumn is the fragrance of woodsmoke and leaf litter, a time to crunch leaves under our feet and pumpkin seeds in our teeth. Our hats blow away, and we chase them down, returning windswept and laughing. The local orchard offers hayrides and pumpkin picking and the children present delight in both. Throughout this time, we are enveloped in a season of radiant entropy.

When the trees are barren of leaves and life, when the days are brief and the nights long, and we eat bowls of stew to ward off the chill, we must remember the bright foliage and let it sustain us until spring.
© Copyright 2022 Whiskerfaceisonvacation (whiskerface at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Writing.Com, its affiliates and syndicates have been granted non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2283500-Autumn