It has been a beautiful autumn in the Midwest. I didn’t want to miss out on any of it as we drove to spend a few days with family in North Carolina, but our timing was right; we travelled through hills and mountains of delightful color along the way.
Many of my friends say this is their favorite time of year. My mother loved the fall colors but what followed – the gray and brown shades of November – began her descent into an annual bout of Seasonal Affective Disorder. *
I feel fortunate that I don’t mind winter in Wisconsin. To me it is a productive time to hunker down in my studio without the distractions of pleasant weather and lots of fun things to do outside. You just have to put on more clothing! Since I’m outside to walk my dogs daily, I have an ample collection of coats, hats, gloves, scarves and boots. While Roxy & Ringo sniff and explore, I am able to observe the changes in our neighborhood.
This time of year what I really enjoy are the shapes of trees. The leaves have dropped to reveal the contours of their branches and crowns. It makes me want to photograph them! Draw them! Draw them with crows and vultures…or abandoned nests of twigs. They light up my imagination with ideas. Mostly I just admire them for their beauty.
I remember standing in the middle of my childhood living room practicing the memorization of the poem I was to recite in front of my class the next day! Recently I reminded my sister of this and she was able to proudly spout the whole thing from memory:
Trees by Joyce Kilmer I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast; A tree that looks at God all day, And lifts her leafy arms to pray; A tree that may in Summer wear A nest of robins in her hair; Upon whose bosom snow has lain; Who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree.