My late mother taught me many things, one of which was to make note of ordinary days that have a special quality. Today, as I walked past the lake and navigated the loop around the block, I made note of the splendor that is autumn. Today is the exact day for me to mention this because the exquisite colors are peaking now. November is hot on their trail bringing damp, rainy, windy days. One day the fall colors will be shouting their magnificence and, the next, they will be lying in wistful piles on the ground.
I have enjoyed witnessing the slow turn of the hues, so gradual, at first, then saturating my eyes with beauty. On cool, crisp days when the sky is the same cornflower blue as the Crayola, the glamorous trees just radiate beauty as the sun shines upon their leaves. Today, the gray skies form a stark contrast and hint at nondescript November days on the horizon, but the trees boldly hold their ground and compel me to look their way.
Speaking of skies and gray, last night’s autumn sky whispered of Halloween and cooler days to come. Unlike zebras and newspapers, which are black and white, this sky was nothing but shades of gray. Although monochromatic, it was stunning…and haunting. It spoke to me of fire pits and fireplaces. Of walks at dusk. Of years gone by. Of silhouetted trees, without their leaves, standing starkly against the sky.
For some, autumn’s shorter days and early darkness bring sadness. For years, autumn was my favorite season. As I have grown older, balmy beach days of summer vie with fall days for my favor. While the time change makes me melancholy, this year has been wrought with a plethora of challenges and I am not weeping as it moves along the way. Perhaps a lesson of the pandemic was to enjoy each day as it comes. Today, I am making note of this ordinary day.