23 September 2010

first blush.

i have a loose and hazy notion of how it all works, on a chemical level: the chlorophyll dies out of the leaf come autumn, unmasking the xanthophyll and carotene that were there all along, sometimes making way for a sugary, crimson surge of anthocyanin. still, each september the trees begin to glitter and bleed like a miracle.



i readily confess to a mild obsession with fall foliage, an enthusiasm i trace to my mother, who’d have her mom or sisters mail bits of glorious maples, oaks, poplars to our eternal-summer home. she’d scatter those pressed shapes of sun and pale champagne and russet across the coffee table, then sit and smile them in, absorbing their papery wonder.

me? i’m smitten with sweet gum, fallen stars beneath my feet, and the pointed mittens of the sassafras. the waxy leaves of a cherry tree, and the blades of the fern leaf beech, contracting into curls like question marks.



it’s the first blush of lothlorien out there, a rush of wind and color. and so we slip on fleece and quicken pulses and tip our faces to drink in the miraculous.



more imperfect prose at emily's.

14 comments:

Sarah said...

just stopped by...

girl, you are brainy AND you can WRITE!!

lovely.

still 90+ degrees down here...
waiting for the lithe..lithol...

...leaves to start changing colors. :)

Farmgirl Paints said...

Wow girl you know your stuff. I just think it's pretty...ha;)

Leslie said...

Ah, "the first blush of lothlorien." I live in almost eternally-summer Florida, and I really, really miss autumn every year. Your photos and prose here are gloriously autumnal!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

This "loose" understanding you speak of includes words such as xanthophyll and anthocyanin? Girl, I hate to break it to you, but your understanding? Pretty tight.

emily wierenga said...

oh, nic, your blog blows me apart every time.

this part especially: "she’d scatter those pressed shapes of sun and pale champagne and russet across the coffee table, then sit and smile them in, absorbing their papery wonder."

i know this obsession with fall. i wish it could stretch for the length of two seasons. i love the smell of the leaves folding in on themselves, the way the whole world looks as thought a painter splattered reds and golds and oranges and just.didn't.care.anymore. because of beauty and art, and it's everywhere, for a short time, before winter whites it away.

beauty. absolute beauty. i hope you'll link up again. xo

lulu and family said...

=)

Kimberly said...

Ah Lothlorien...oh my yes, that's exactly what Autumn can be.

alittlebitograce said...

beautiful! i love the colours of fall and how the forest beside my house resembles paintbrushes stood bristles up, still covered in paint. your words and pictures illuminate the beauty of fall so well. :)

Kati patrianoceu said...

Being currently in an 'eternal-summer-home' it's hard to imagine the leaves turning right now, the need to put on a fleece to go enjoy them. Thanks for the verbal and visual glimpse.

Ostriches Look Funny said...

And the death of something can be so beautiful. You've inspired me, you and the trees...giving up their leafy life so.

deb said...

sometimes there are no words.

Kati patrianoceu said...

Being currently in an 'eternal-summer-home' it's hard to imagine the leaves turning right now, the need to put on a fleece to go enjoy them. Thanks for the verbal and visual glimpse.

Leslie said...

Ah, "the first blush of lothlorien." I live in almost eternally-summer Florida, and I really, really miss autumn every year. Your photos and prose here are gloriously autumnal!

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

This "loose" understanding you speak of includes words such as xanthophyll and anthocyanin? Girl, I hate to break it to you, but your understanding? Pretty tight.