Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Okay, I admit it........

           I am an unabashed, unrepentant devotee of Spring, however cliched that may be. Me, Leah-Persephone, returning from the mudsliding, sunless, windlashed  underworld of Winter, to the yellow spread of forsythia, daffodils that nod yes as you walk by, hyacinth, tulips, and the incandescent cherry blossoms that seem lit from within.
      Then summers long light, transparent patterns of leaf-light, days in the garden, hikes to the ocean, barefoot and jacket-free
(on those days that don’t begin and end with fog.
     And then there’s is Fall:
           the crunch
                of dead leaves
                 the earth ceases to speak
                  darkness takes over
                      is your ancient brain  really  certain
                               that light will return?
 the drift of autumn leaves
        but orange
            is not my color
Photo by Bill Fulton

The Great Dying, I call it. The endless browns and beige and
 straw, and the spent stalks.  Autumn in Michigan where I grew up means fields of color.  It took me a long time to see true seasonal change in California. There are fewer maples,  elms are rare, and the oaks that like a wild display also prefer a different climate.
         Finally, I began to really see color: the remarkable gingkoes, living fossils, 250 million years old, in their fall gold. 

The persimmon trees, with elegant, elongated leaves that blush red. And for someone addicted to the beauty of words, there is liquid amber, with an autumn array of golds and flame,  and the bright berry clusters of  -   listen to this - scarlet fire thorn. 

Persimmon leaves  John Barger
I become a forager 
in autumn, cutting bunches of leaves and berries, and gathering apple oak galls in my neighborhood and from 
the ranch we are privileged to stay at.      I let go of my usual minimalism and fill the house with glossy teal pumpkins, baskets of oak apple galls, sprays of colored leaves.

                  Why must we turn white with age
                          while trees bedazzle themselves to death? 

        I mix beauty with ceremony, as the ancients did, and the spirit requires. We have a Mexican-Tarascan Day of the Dead cart, with a skeleton driver, and a winged demon riding shotgun. I fill it with gourds, miniature pumpkins, and multicolored baby corn, and I wander around my home admiring autumn and avoid thinking about the future - the mudsliding, sunless, windlashed underworld of winter.


1 comment:

  1. Leah, I love "why must we become white with age/ while trees bedazzle themselves to death." What a beautiful blog! The pictures say everything!