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    Lights. Colors. Action.

            Autumn in New England, where I live, is spectacularly beautiful. It’s not just the colors that explode as the leaves change. It’s the lighting. Like a gigantic stage production that gets a new lighting director and set designer, the look and feel of the fall changes everything. Cyndi Lauper only had it part right. Money does change everything. But so does lighting and scenery.
           I actually feel differently in the fall. By “feel”, I don’t mean in terms of emotions like happy or sad. I mean as in how I experience life. It’s not just the external change of seasons. It’s an internal shift of experience. The world feels different.
           I call it “The Sunday Effect”. You know how Sunday feels different than any other day of the week? The minute you wake up, you know it. No matter where you are or what you’re doing. You just know it’s Sunday. The same is true for Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or even Saturday. The atmosphere, the vibe, the ambience, the way life feels, is fundamentally altered on certain days. And during different seasons. I experience this viscerally. Vividly. In emotional technicolor. Does anyone else share this sensation?  
            Color has always been very important to me. After all, I painted my house purple. Some of my clothes are very colorful. When I look at certain colors, I actually get excited and happy just from looking at them. So it’s no wonder that when the canvas of my world changes color in the fall, I go through an internal change as well. Looking at all the reds and yellows and oranges, all of which used to be green just a little while ago...well I’m off and running.
           Scent is also very evocative, maybe the most of all the senses. And fall smells much different than summer. Who can’t instantly recall the scent of fallen leaves? Just thinking about that smell takes you away quicker than a Calgon bath. Takes you to someplace else. Not only in your mind, but in your heart.  And actually smelling all those fallen leaves is like going to a different planet. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Magic.
           The sun plays a major role, actually the starring role, in this epic transformation. The trajectory of The Great Light In The Sky significantly changes as we progress from summer to fall. It’s not only that the sun is lower in the sky during autumn, but it follows an entirely different path. So the world is lit in a dramatically new way. The sun’s new trajectory alters the mood and the atmosphere of the world. Indeed, of my life. It’s all new and different.
           You can’t beat June, July, and August for fun, but autumn has it all over summer romantically. What’s better on a crisp Saturday afternoon in October than walking through leaves with someone you love, going home, lighting a fire, making dinner, and then jumping each other’s bones in front of the fire place all night?
           What is your experience of fall that touches your heart? How does fall feel differently to you? Let me hear you. I’m listening.   

    © 2008 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and Wrongs) Reserved

    I encourage Comments. So let me hear you.

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    Reader Comments (2)

    clint, i love the fall as well. i think so many of us here do. the pace slows, the light is soft and soothing, we have a little more time to see, smell and savor the beauty around us that disappears in the glare of the summer. It is a time of shifting, subsiding and preparing to nest and rest in the colder months.

    It begins with mornings at the bay, with the sky soft and orange or yellow, the water calm, a knowing hush blanketing the scene, calming. I enjoy the color, the scent, the sound. dont rush, it says, take time to take it in. This only lasts a short time, this peaceful interlude.
    Or perhaps walking the dog in the woods, the lower sun light filtering thru the forests undergrowth, illuminating the slowly changing hues of the leaves. As you said, the earthy smell, so distinct. the many colors and shapes of mushrooms and fungus that sprout , metamorphize, and fade at our feet. Acorns and leaves falling to earth, squirrels harvesting, jays and crows overseeing with noisy commentary.

    it IS all in the changing light, the color. it can feel a little sad at first, those first few days when I realize that the seaon is shifting, the heat of summer is gone, and the crickets are singing their fall serenade . its hard to let go of the joy and energy of summer. but the light seduces me. it shows me things in a different and compelling way. and i find myself easing into sweaters, enjoying the chill of the morning and evening. basking in the midday heat, the last vestiges of summer. retreating into the layers of clothes to stay out al ittle longer, and see the soft light fade as the day ends, earlier and earlier. to go home to cook a warming meal and rest by the fireplace, or soak in the hot tub to admire the brightness of the star filled sky, to nest. its good

    I also love the light of fall. I love your eloquent sharing thank you.

    October 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterasven

    Thank you asven. I love what you wrote. Please come back.

    October 9, 2008 | Registered CommenterClint Piatelli

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