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  • Kate Emery

Fall Fling

In case you hadn’t noticed, fall is here! Released from summer’s lockdown, she’s out and about, flinging her brilliance around like a salsa dancer. Step outside and find her skirts a rustle, flirting delightfully, stripteasing on the wind. There’s nothing to rival fall in New England!


Her colors shine through the crisp, cooling air. Orange and blue crash into one another in a complementary tête-à-tête: shouting but somehow avoiding being gaudy. OK, maybe gaudy. But not gauche. How does she do it? If we flung brilliant orange and blue paint on a canvas, it would less likely sing than scream… unless we follow her lead. She has lessons for us painters. There is a subtle restraint that balances the color scheme. The grays and umbers of tree trunks and understory bring the overall intensity down and help weave the palette together. Other seasons prefer more analogous palettes, which are easier to pull off, but their relative caution makes autumn stand out like a heroine.


This year, I feel the urge to dance with her more strongly than usual. For while I know it ends with her branches bare, stark against November’s winds as her colors slip to the monochrome, I don’t want to think that far ahead right now. The clash of maple orange shining against ultramarine blue sky makes me buoyant and happy. Optimistic even.


I know shorter, darker days may be coming. In fact, November 3 looms for us all. Some may advise against optimism lest we die of disappointment. Buckle down early to be better prepared. But I’d prefer to grab this last dance while I can. There’s time enough to grieve what may come and what we may be losing. But today—oh my—let’s focus on the beauty right outside our doors.

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© 2020 Kate Emery | Farmington Valley, CT, USA

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