Colours of Fall

(Fall Foliage, Harvard Yard, Massachusetts, 2009)

These are the colours of Fall: Yellow, Orange, Red, Brown -- with a hint of green on a changing blue sky.

The transition. Summer is happiness, the sun is yellow, the lemony freshness of a slight fall breeze deceives us all before the change. It is a slight colour, maybe off-white or cream, the aging pages of a summer diary that's been left out near the salt water for too long. The green fades to yellow first -- a change so small we almost don't see it coming. Like meeting a stranger, like first introductions, like superficial small talk. All laying the base-coat foundations for a new life.

The beautiful. The turn of fall, before it gets too cold: the heat of summer remains, but the beauty of fall creeps in. Like a tree catching alight. Citrus sweetness flows around the yard and maybe in a strong breeze some will fall and swirl around you, dancing fire fairies enchanting and blessing the turn of a new harvest season. A warm hug, a pat on the back, a brush of the hand.

It is passionate. Full of extremity and urgent as needing to jump into the deep end of a pool. Fall comes quickly out of Summer -- one day you are roasting in a singlet and the next you need to take out a jacket and cover up your legs with jeans: like red-hot urgency in a freezer. Clinging to a heater, kneading your face into the crevice of your best friend's neck, a not-so-subtle hard gripping onto fingers. It is fragile, highly transient and so, so intense. Red leaves are the hardest to keep, red dye the quickest to wash away with water.

The Settling. It is not death, or the end of something. It is the start of comfort, acceptance and understanding. It is not the unpleasant colour that everyone makes it out to be: not diarrhea, or rot, or slushy mud. It is rather the familiar smell of hot cocoa after a day out in the wind, a robust trunk that you know would never fall under your weight. The swirling melted pot of chocolate in some people's eyes. Brown makes you feel fuzzy.

(Eliot Porter, Pool in a Brook, New Hampshire 1953)*

Like washing paint down a drain: let's observe these colours transition into and through each other and change into something entirely different. Winter is coming and with it a palette of blues and whites, the stark bathroom tiles will be all that is left after your paints have run down your bathtub pipes.

*Just heard about this guy and his photographs this morning in History of Photography, I likeeee his stufffff so I wanted to include it in a blogpost. SUE ME