Nothing signals a change of season the way light does. Earth’s orbit and the angle to the sun of my particular part of the world are independent of the vagaries of weather and temperature. In late winter and early spring I watch the changing light with relief, knowing that soon there will be much more of it. In the summer—my favorite season—I revel in the length of days and the varied shades of brightness. Once we hit winter, I try just to snug in, knowing that if I can use the early dark as a reason to rest, that’s the best I can do.
This year I realized that the transitional light of spring and fall, angled and golden in both, yields completely different results. Spring’s light gilds; fall’s creates a glow. How often have you heard a tree described as glowing, flaming, afire, or some other adjective meaning giving off light? In the summer when it rains light, it’s coming from the sun. In the fall after first frost, it’s the leaves coming down.
It may be that all summer the plants are absorbing the light and fall color is a last burst of stored energy, a second wind before rest. Regardless, each year its beauty is something to behold. Happy Thanksgiving!