Tuesday, November 02, 2010

`The World is Refreshed Till All Is Done'

Everyone oohs and ahs over autumn leaves when the sun shines. It’s a social obligation, like telling your host the steak is grilled to perfection though you’re not really much of a carnivore. It’s also an aesthetic obligation, as indifference to fall foliage (or “foilage,” as I heard a teacher say on Monday) might appear unrefined, even politically suspect in some quarters. Look at the leaves in a gray rain, through the fog, under a pewter sky. In short, look at them as we do most days in the Pacific Northwest. The effect is muted, subtler and more complicated, not postcard fodder but an invitation to impressionism with a small “i.”

The denigration of the grimmer months is related to the growing conviction that every day not a day on the beach at Maui is a disappointment, a failure of the world to deliver. Hardier folk know better. The yellow leaves of a maple faded in the mist remind us of the pale greens of spring. Add rain and leaves to dark pavement and you have – nature’s découpage! We honor the cycle of seasons and know there’s always a price to pay. May is sweeter for November and even Maui knows tsunamis. “So the world is refreshed till all is done,” as the late C.H. Sisson writes in “Another Autumn.”

1 comment:

Jackson said...

It's November and it's going to stay November until April.
And I don't have to tell you about April.
--A grump