I LOVE fall. When the air turns crisp, and leaves swirl in circles around my feet, I am filled with a sense of joy and anticipation. Trees turn into divas and wood smoke provides a homey tang to the air. There are often still warm days, but the nights are cold. The sky deepens into a pure, deep blue during the day and cold, clear black velvet filled with stars at night.
Two weeks ago my husband and I hiked one of our favorite trails in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The ascent through pine and hardwoods led to an eventual view that went on for miles. Deep greens punctuated by vibrant reds, golds and oranges spread their way up distant hills that ended in blue hilltops dusted with the first snow of the season. Lakes lay below us, their water reflecting the sky and the colors that rimmed their shores.
Maybe the allure of this season lies in its impermanence. For only a few weeks we stand between the lush growth of summer and the quiet cold rest of winter. We have to get out into it quickly, before it passes. As I am now in the autumn of my own life, no longer young and not yet old, perhaps the blazing joy of fall gives me hope. There is infinite beauty all around me, beauty that I try to capture as I paint this amazing world. Winter is coming, but it is still fall. And fall is a time and place of surprises, as well as a time of reflection on what lies within and around us. The colors can surprise and inspire us still, and remind me to hurry to enjoy each moment, before this brief season is gone.