Autumn is my favorite time of year, mostly for the changing leaves and a brief respite of coziness and relative warmth before it gets too cold to do much outdoors except for getting from one place to another.
The foliage isn’t as robust as in past years, thanks to an ongoing lack of rain over the warmer months.
Fortunately, that does not mean no color at all.
The park near my house in early October is not without at least one burst of red.
Those three trees in the background never fail to transform at least one small section of the park’s landscape every Autumn.
However, for the most part, a burnt, somewhat dingy orange predominates this year.
Granted, this hue is more or less the norm for the tall trees at the edge of my backyard.
On one of my periodic, two-to-three mile neighborhood walks, I spotted this brilliant yellow, made even more striking by the blue of the house next to it.
To see ample colors in one place, however, I had to visit Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.
On the third Sunday in October, I spent an afternoon there, seeking out as many seasonal shades I could find.
Walking around Mt. Auburn, I was not disappointed. Robust reds, bright oranges, sparkling yellows were all around.
I’m not a religious man, but parks, cemeteries, woods–any kind of green space is the sort of place my soul thrives in.
I remember driving out to Kettle Moraine North in Wisconsin with my parents when I was four or five, collecting pretty fallen leaves to place into a construction paper album.
I held onto that album for most of my childhood, no matter how brown and crinkly the leaves turned.
For those few bright red maple trees I see around Boston, I think fondly of the street I grew up on, which was lined with them. There was a particularly big one in front of our house–I can recall the impossibly massive piles of leaves my dad would rake from everything that fell onto the front yard, the sidewalk, even the street.
Within weeks, the trees will once again be bare. However, I’m genuinely optimistic for the first time in four years. The trees will bud again come April or May, hopefully stronger than ever before as we begin to heal and nourish our collective soul.