According to the earth and sun, it won't be winter for nearly a month yet, but with James Taylor singing about winter wonderlands, Christmas crafting spilling from tables and chairs, and the first candle on my advent wreath lit, it's not exactly fall either.
This year's fall was a muted celebration. The Halloween snow storm ripped many of the leaves from the trees before they even had a chance to change color. While I'm sure that disappointed people who had travelled far to see the famous New England color, I was surprised to find myself relieved. Most years the trees put on a display to rival the 4th of July fireworks. The reds burn, the golds glow and the evergreens shine in contrast.
And just as with the fireworks, when the show is over there is a sense of loss and what remains appears all the drabber in comparison to what has been. It usually takes weeks for me to shift from seeing the barren trees as harbingers of cold and misery, to forms with their own minimalist grace and beauty.
This year the transition was gentler; trees stripped by the storm stood alongside smaller plants displaying their fall glory. Instead of golden arbors, we had sunlight as soft as butter and looping vines of bittersweet. It was not a traditional fall, but it was beautiful in its own way.