“Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love—that makes life and nature harmonize.”George Elliot
On Tuesday the sun shone brightly, the shadows creating a sharp contrast to the bright yellows, reds, and oranges of the maples I passed along my walk. I stopped to photograph a tree and thought of a painting this might inspire. The smile arising on my face was delight and on I went to the next beauty.
On Wednesday, the sky was gray and overcast the entire day moving into rain in the afternoon. On my return from an errand, I turned down Central Avenue and noticed the stately red maple to my left as it stood out in size and color among many. The size of the tree spoke of longevity while the depth of color drew me into my heart. As I looked further down the hill the deep rusts, golds, and reds almost into purple did not thrill me as on a sunny day but brought me to a moment of peace. I began to notice that in this light on this day the colors took on more depth as if I could enter them and rest in them, be held in them for this moment. These colors did not tantalize but beckoned, did not scream but whispered.
As the day moved on in my chores my eyes would alight on the mums in display at my front door that on a sunny day would draw my attention with their stunning color. Today, I experienced the color in my body as warm, solid, and enduring.
At the end of the day along towards sunset, I gazed out our windows to the river. I chuckled to see the wild turkeys running through the yard after stopping to graze on the seeds dropped from the bird feeder. As I sat at the dinner table my vision moved along the rust colored table cloth to the greens, golds, oranges and reds of the mums in the centerpiece, out the sliding doors to the red/purples of the Amur Maple toward the river. The sky was soft and darkening and I felt the desire to pause, to weep, to enter a place that draws us into the soul.
In the season of autumn we are moved into our natural rhythm, from spirited sun dappled joy to the soul depth color of being, allowing the need to open to as we move from bright lights to inner darkness. In quiet, deep, listening and inquiry, we draw life from the stillness. In this place, grief is attended to, sorrow is transformed, compassion soothes our pain. We become one with rather than the one stepping out of the moment to photograph.
We do not stay long in these depths. It is a journey we flow in and out of in a moment, an hour, or a day. Today the sun shines brightly again and I long to walk amongst the color.
“Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature.”Friedrich Nietzsche