Fall is a poem, a diary of smells and memories,
a glowing stained glass window, a not-so-still life.
Fall is summer’s epitaph, nostalgic and glorious.
The colors of leaves are miracles, small explosions
of contrast contained within delicate shapes,
unique little palettes floating about.
~ Michele Coppin
Standing on my deck this morning, I glanced down and discovered at my feet a tiny, perfect maple leaf no larger than my thumbnail, tossed to earth by the breezes that will soon be stripping the trees of their gorgeous fall array in preparation for the quiet winter rest.
Fall. How I love it!
In the Eastern Townships of Quebec, where I was born and spent many childhood summers, the colours of autumn are breathtakingly beautiful. To stand at the top of one of the many hills around Richmond, Stanstead, North Hatley or the Massawippi Valley in the fall and look down on a rich carpet of deep jewel crimsons, blood reds, russets and golden yellows, amply punctuated with evergreen exclamation marks, is a memory etched on my heart, never to be forgotten.
Fall is nostalgic, bittersweet, the glorious colours a culmination of summer’s lush expansiveness – and yet, at the same time, a harbinger of the drawing inward that is soon to come.
In author Tan Twan Eng’s fine novel, “The Garden of Evening Mists,” one of the characters describes how a Japanese garden must be:
“The garden must reach inside you. It should change your heart, sadden it, uplift it. It has to make you appreciate the impermanence of everything in life….That point in time just as the last leaf is about to drop, as the remaining petal is about to fall; that moment captures everything beautiful and sorrowful about life. Mono no aware, the Japanese call it.”
Mono no aware, awareness of the transience of all things, which heightens appreciation of their beauty and evokes a gentle sadness at their passing.
Autumn is my Japanese garden.