Saturday, October 11, 2008

Here comes the sun - for a few more weeks

"Autumn arrives in early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day."
Elizabeth Bowen

Does anyone else notice the light changing? I was looking back through some summer photos and observed the 100-watt-bulb quality of the afternoon sun: strong shadows, a yellow-white light that makes you want your sunglasses, even looking at photos late at night.

Early in the morning (I am so well acquainted with the early-morning sun right now!), before my eyes have fully opened I am aware of the golden quality of the sunlight. Its liquid gold pours through my east-facing windows, glowing in my terra-cotta laundry room like treasure in a red velvet bag. The summer light was more like a hyper-shiny platinum, urging you out into the day, spurring you on to activity and accomplishment. The autumn sunrise is less... activity oriented. It invites you to take time with your coffee, to savor the warmth of the day, to enjoy wearing a sweater with your shorts that day.

This fall light is gentler, cozier. 'Mellow' is the word the poets keep tossing around. To me it feels more....nostalgic. The afternoon sun has a regretful quality to it, as if it were urging us to get outside while we can. The light seems to apologize for its nearing departure, and as it prepares to go it remains in the rosy skin of apples, in the golden sheen on the pumpkins - I swear you can even taste it in the cider from our local farm.

"Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits."
Samuel Butler
The Way of All Flesh

Fall isn't the hyper young spring, gamboling on the lawn, it isn't the glamorous and impossibly gorgeous summer wearing nothing but a bikini. It is the slightly older Autumn who has seen enough to know she doesn't know it all, who is more forgiving for that knowledge, who has the wisdom to treasure the fading light. This makes her gentle, and ineffably, more beautiful.

It's Thursday, my readers: a gorgeous fall day in which we may all gain in fruits. Enjoy.

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