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    All The World's A Stage

           One of the great things about living in a climate with true seasons, like here in New England, is the changing stage. The “stage”, in this context, is the totality of the external physical environment. Put more simply, the stage is what it’s like outside.
           Our physical external environment, just like a theatrical stage, contains distinct elements: lighting, scenery, weather (although usually unchanging and stable in a theatre), atmosphere and ambiance. All of those interact and create an overall “Feel”. That Feel has a visceral impact on our overall experience. Taken to the extreme, for example, our experience of a sunny, eighty degree day at the beach is distinctly different from our experience of a twenty degree day skiing during a snow storm. A lot of that has to do with the particular dynamics of our physical environment. A lot of that has to do with Feel.
           The stage around New England this time of year, late September and early October, takes on a whole different Feel. First of all, the lighting is different. Think of how much lighting effects mood, and experience, be it in your living room or your bedroom. While the lights on a theatrical stage are numerous, of different varieties, shapes, sizes, and colors, on the stage I’m talking about, there’s only one light. The sun. And that singular light’s differing positions in the sky has a vast impact on the overall Feel of autumn.
           The sun’s trajectory is completely different come fall than it is in summer. It’s not just a simple matter of the sun being higher or lower in the sky. It’s a matter of the sun being in completely different positions, every moment of the day, because of it’s trajectory. In other words, at any given minute in late September, the sun is in a position that it could not possibly be in, in say mid July.
           So our lighting is completely different. I can feel that. It somehow impacts me on a level that I don’t completely understand. It’s like I’ve stepped into a whole new world come late September. Just because of the lighting. I love that I pick up on that. Lots of people do. That’s part of what they mean, whether they know it or not, when they say “I love Fall. I love how it Feels.”
           Then there’s the scenery. Again, one of the perks of living in a climate with true seasons. The trees explode with color. In the summer, the amount and variety of the color green is staggering, and beautiful. In the fall, it’s a whole different color palette, and on a gigantic scale. We get color in the summer in the form of flowers. We get color in the fall in the form of trees. Yellow, orange, red. These new colors on this new scale interplay with the new lighting. They combine to create a very powerful overall effect. A whole new Feel.
           In the winter, the lighting and scenery change yet again. I actually don’t mind all the grey, come late November. I welcome it. Yet again, it’s a whole different look, a whole new Feel. It also means snow is coming. And we know how I feel about snow. Or maybe you don’t. I’m a Snow Junkie. Pure and simple.
           These changes on life’s grandest stage, namely The Great Outdoors, are as real and visceral for me as if I were an actor in a play, and I went from the stage of “Cleopatra” to the stage of “A Christmas Carol”. Indeed, “all the world’s a stage”. And it’s a beautifully shifting and constantly changing stage, to boot.
           Shakespeare missed that part. I didn’t.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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