It is November 1. Leaves have finally begun to change color on the trees, and to settle on the still-bright green lawn. And that still-green lawn now has wild strawberries growing in it.
The tomato plants have sprung back to life, the nasturtiums continue to bloom, the cosmos to replicate themselves.
Cold will come in time, and with it, a personal mourning for light and life and bright healing air.
Writing what you actually see when you look through to the bottom of a lake, that requires the sun high overhead, Jupiter and Mars in the nighttime sky, toes in warm mud after a heavy afternoon rain shower, the scent of meat searing over a charcoal fire. In summer, I paint on a living canvas instead of fabric and wood fashioned to my easel.
Writing it all down at the end of the growing year, when darkness rises in late afternoon and the sky feels a little too close for comfort, the project turns artificial, grasping for a reality which can’t exist in the greys and browns of November. The conceit of spending that month creating something new could only have been thought of by a someone in Southern California, where they do not witness first hand the vacuum in nature between the bright harvest colors of October and the sparkling decor of December; it’s something they see conjured on a movie or TV set. But they who say tell us that Nature abhors a vacuum, and making up a wild and fantastic story might be one way to fill it in for anyone who feels the misery of Winter’s emergence.
Summer beautifies reality. Winter fosters fantasy. Understanding this, I adjust my focus for each season in turn, and make what I can of it.