Monday, November 05, 2007

Whacked on the Head by Beauty

Robust reds. Brilliant golds. Burnt oranges. Crystal-clear blue skies. This scene—trees on fire set against gorgeous cerulean—blesses me every day when I drive up my hill towards home.

Outside, leaves rustle underneath my feet. Musty smoke cackles in my fireplace. Cold, fresh air fills my lungs. Window lights glow at our windows. The furnace kicks on inside.

Woolen sweaters have replaced our t-shirts. Cowboy boots our Crocs.

Hearty stews brew inside heavy Le Creuset casseroles. Football games consume Friday nights. Perfumed Seda France candles emanate from the downstairs foyer.

Oh how I adore fall!

One of my favorite things about living in New England is the generous changing of the seasons. There’s nothing subtle about living in Connecticut. We notice when fall strikes. Or when winter has officially arrived. Can’t help it. It hits our streets and our skies. Our skin and our heads. I sat—frozen—at our son’s football game this weekend, unprepared for the sudden drop in temperature. Dressed for a “casual Friday” at the office when I left early that morning and going straight to the stadium, I was ridiculously outfitted for the brissling cold outside; my twin sweater set, jeans and open-heeled mules were no match for it. I wrapped bright orange towels (given to us to promote both school spirit and our school color) over my nearly frostbit toes until I could stand it no longer and drove home for a quick exchange of lambswool-lined Uggs.

This lack of subtlety continued all weekend, and thankfully so. A quick peek into a new garden store revealed gorgeous fall arrangements, with silk turkeys, roosters and owls frolicking on the shelves with pumpkins and gourds. Freeze-dried artichokes accented centerpieces and terra cotta earthenware lined tabletops. What a fabulous ten-minute eye-candy break from my usual Saturday afternoon errand-hopping and grocery-shopping?

Sometimes, the beauty of the earth, the raw, unadulterated perfection of God’s creation just whacks me on the head. It jerks me out of my work-filled thoughts on my long drive home; the leaves literally demand that you stop doing what you’re doing or stop thinking what you’re thinking and give them your attention! The colors and patterns and flow of this season cannot be replicated by mankind.

If you do not live in a part of the world where you experience this beauty, I hope that you get the opportunity to visit someone who does. That you get the chance to take a long drive in the country, visit a pumpkin patch, pick apples in an orchard. Sit on a back patio and breathe in crisp air until it practically hurts your lungs. Allow yourself the dizzying awakening of being whacked on the head by beauty.

For winter shall soon be upon us. And the colors and patterns and flow will once again change. We’ll find, no matter where we live, that the rhythm of the winter dance will keep us moving at a tempo that would find us yearning for these lazier—glorious!—days of fall.