Contact Me Here
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    « I Hurt, Therefore I Am (part 1) | Main | Clint's X's and Big O's (And I'm talking football, not former girlfriends) »

    From Tragedy To Romantic Comedy


            Cape Cod is basically a giant sand bar, created a mere fifteen to twenty thousand years ago, by of all things, a glacier. When we think of the cape, we picture beautiful beaches stretching into a seemingly endless ocean. Rarely do we think of its trees, or the word “foliage”.
            I certainly never did. I spent virtually every summer of my life here until I graduated college. Not until I moved here did I realized that Cape Cod is a beautiful place to witness the annual color explosion of a New England autumn.
        Once I moved here full time, one of the first thing I noticed is that, contrary to popular belief, the Cape’s flora does not consist primarily of scrub pines and dune grass. This giant sand bar is in fact rife with leafy trees. Leafy trees that change color.
           The cape’s milder climate means that it peaks later in the season, usually early November. So it gets bypassed by foliage lovers. Not only because most foliage fans think there is nothing to see here, but also because most people have already done their leaf peeping, drawn north to the mountains earlier in the fall.
           But those of us who live here, if we’re paying attention, know better. We’re aware that Cape Cod in autumn is a very different place than Cape Cod in summer. Our roads, our neighborhoods, our trees, are alive with orange and yellow and red. Colors that the tourists never see. And because our experience is exclusive to us natives, and because there are so many less people here in fall, we feel that this cape is ours. It’s our little secret. A colorful world that you only know about if you live here.
           For most of my youth, fall was the absolute worst time of year. I would bet the farm that that was the case for the vast majority of kids. Fall sucked. It meant going back to school. It meant regiment. It ignited, in all it’s phantasmal glory, my internal emotional neon sign that read: “The Party’s Over”. How the fuck could I like fall then? How the fuck could any normal, sane, irresponsible kid?
           When I got older, in one of the truly remarkable and subtle transformations in life, I, like many people, came to love autumn. Instead of dread, I came to embrace that time of year that had traditionally triggered what I would call “formative situational seasonal depression”. When fall no longer meant being sentenced to what I over-dramatically referred to as “Awshwitz For Kids”, I grew to appreciate this unique time of year. Suddenly, fall meant something different. It meant beauty, and jaw dropping color, and a change in the lighting scheme of life. It meant curling up with a girl in front of a blazing fire. It meant a shift in my experience of life, like a benign and non-addictive drug.
           Autumn assaulted the senses. Not only visually, but audibly. Who can’t recall the unique sound that leaves on the ground make when we shuffle through them? Even our olfactory senses get involved, for autumn has a certain scent to it; fallen leaves; blossoming flora; the change in prevailing winds and air temperature that deliver a palpable change in the very air we breath. As though I was able to change the genre of a movie, autumn literally went from being a tragedy to being a romantic comedy. 
           I called Falmouth home for almost ten years. Of all my countless experiences here as a full time resident, my personal discovery and enjoyment of the Cape’s “Hidden Fall” ranks towards the top. Because of its lasting impact. Because my very experience of reality changed.
           After living in the city of Boston for fifteen years, as much as I loved it, autumn inevitably passed me by. Surrounded by buildings instead of trees, immersing myself in the perpetual spirit of color that defines autumn proved elusive. And as I’ve said, fall to me as a kid was akin to death. But being on Cape Cod in autumn for this many years has forever changed my perspective. My eyes opened. My mind expanded. And my experience of the entire season transmutated; altered, like poles on a battery, from negative to positive. Very cool Falmouth. Unexpected, but very cool. Thank you...

    © 2010 Clint Piatelli. Astoundingly Colorful Amount of Rights Reserved.

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>