As we drove through the countryside yesterday surrounded by the beauty of the season and the drama of the landscape, I pondered how colour defines the time of year.
Everywhere were the rich reds, burnt oranges, cinnamon and deep golden tones of autumn that despite the still warmth of the sun alert you to the end of a season.
The light plays its part too, different at the same time of the day in different months, especially towards the end of the afternoon. A soft, smoky haze seems to hover, with occasional mists creeping across low-lying land like a veil of mystery. The air is perfumed with wood smoke and there is a gentle peacefulness everywhere.
Nature’s spectacular change of dress seems to be her way of preparing us for times to come. The last remnants of summer almost gone, the vibrant fall shades, although reminiscent of the lazy warmth of July, suggest the glow of a warm log fire, which Nature knows will soon be much appreciated.
Dancing dramatically in early swirling wind and rain showers, Nature twirls in a seemingly endless reverie. Her golden gown gently sheds its colours momentarily carpeting the somber, brown churned up ground with a splendid, vibrant carpet. whilst the trees above stretch out their limbs, stark and naked.
Yet within almost an instant, as December creeps up on us, Nature is visible in a magnificent new cloak, the deep green of pine trees, muffled in a white ermine of snow and bedecked in jewels of ruby, red berries.
. Her Christmas mantle beckons and we eagerly swath our hearths with her winter splendour.
All for a few short weeks, after which the allure of the berries fade and like a previous fashion season, the winter firs no longer seem in vogue.
We tolerate the cold and damp but wait with expectant wonder for the first signs of new buds, of crocus and snowdrops bursting like jewels of hope through the frosted ground. We fill our homes with the fragrance and beauty of spring bulbs…just for a moment, before the bright yellows of early daffodils prepare us for warmer days ahead.
Right now though Nature has successfully seduced me to prepare for a Fall celebration.
To gather berries and olive branches and fill my house with the shades of autumn.
She wisely encourages me to check my log supply, drag out my boots and warm sweaters and prepare for winter, for even in Provence, winter will soon be upon us!
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