‘Inside’ fall color, Massachusetts
Museum of Contemporary Art
By Arthur H. Gunther IIII
Autumn arrives as a state of mind, prompted by the foliage change to wonderful hues, or by memories of fall’s past that tug at your senses and nudge you to “do it again.” But for both those who can see traditional seasonal change, and especially for those who cannot, there is the color switch inside your home or any place with a window.
The light is different, incrementally as the weeks and months pass, but soon the imperceptibility becomes noticeable, and sitting in your living room chair or at a kitchen table, your mind wanders, you look at the incoming window light, and there it is, fall.
Somehow, that signals body change — mental surely, as you begin to think of coming winter and the fortification that will require, physically as you get ready for warmer garments carried on your frame. That is all natural to all, since the cave days.
But then there is the emotional switching of gears. You have come down the pike either hellbent in a fast-paced summer or you have had the cruise control set at 20 mph for a lazy, hazy, hot season, relieved by the beach. Now you see color, beautiful color, as you near the bend, and you get a whiff of cool air, not quite winter’s breath, but enough that you know where you are headed.
The journey is made all the easier by the appearance of nature’s tapestry, a light show outside, overflowing to the innards of both your home and yourself.
Fortification, there she comes, this autumnal change, this brilliance of light in hues meant to tell you that though the heat of summer is gone and the cold of winter is approaching, fall’s color will be your cloak into the change. Nature’s mental protection, as it were.
The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org This essay may be reproduced.