Monday, October 3, 2011

Autumn Foliage, 1

After living away from the Midwest for the past 20 years, I return with fresh eyes, and in late September---early October they are soaking up the gorgeous golds, nuclear apricot oranges, and raunchy reds of the maple tree foliage. For the past 6 years, I lived in Davis, CA without very much autumnal coloring, save trips to the Napa or Sonoma Valleys.

This Midwest foliage fireworks display is not merely transient, however, but it is the final flourish before we move into winter--the 6-month-long night in which all cows are gray, to quote Jameson's misquote of Hegel. Thus, this flora fantasy is a vibrant watercolor of melancholy. A Rorschach plate that touches upon that part of one which savors late Keats poetry all the more for knowing he that he knows he's tubercular and dying young.

We are geared like little cogwheels to the giant cogwheels of seasons as Thoreau put it in his journals: the seasons turn and in turning turn us, and now I find myself taken out of the Davis, CA eco-machine in which new flora is in bloom year-round and inserted into an assemblage of an ice and blizzard machine in which the only flora for most of the year is the angular dark silhouettes of leafless trees against the streetlamps.

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