This morning as I was groggily getting ready, I was looking out my windows and realized that it didn’t seem to long ago that the now green, lush trees were barren and gray. My lease is almost up so I’ve lived in the apartment-from-hell for close to a year and am experiencing the beginning of the cycle I was introduced to a year ago.
Around this time of year, where it’s still warm and not yet cold enough to be Fall but the light becomes bright and clear, the trees are at their greenest. They’re full of fauna—the annoying cicada, squirrels and birds—and flora as they are dense with leaves. Healthy trees are big, green trees. Likewise, the New Englanders are feeling good, recharged after a summer with hot sun (and lots of rain!). The Sox and Pats are playing, the students have filled the city back up instead of tourists and there’s an excitement in the air.
Slowly the reds, yellows and oranges creep into the trees as folks are forced to start bundling up. At first only heavier clothing appears. A few sweaters, stockings under skirts, no more open toed shoes on women while one by one trees are taken over by vibrant fall colors. Then the boots and scarves show up, and there is less green on hillsides. Finally, gloves and hats mark the change into deep fall when the trees are their most beautiful and all shades of color.
Only too soon after the leaves turn colors they fall to the ground and cold weather cuts down on New Englanders venturing out into the cold for entertainment. Of course hard-core sports fans still brave the weather for football games, but most hunker down somewhere a little more comfortable. They hibernate as trees become bare and lifeless. No more fauna and the flora fades leaving branches naked and gray. Snow cover eventually appears and takes all the color from the landscape before it turns to brown and gray slush on the side of the road.
And not soon enough, life starts to emerge. Piles of snow turn into sloppy mud puddles and the green returns to the flora while birds begin to chirp. It’s still uncomfortably cold on some nights, and school is almost out for students, but soon enough the heat is turned up and the thaw happens. The suppressing cold begins to lift and everyone breathes a little easier. Trees have green buds covering their branches.
Summer continues to warm and the trees reach for the sun, getting as much of it as they can possibly drink in while it’s there. Leaves overwhelm branches and shade New Englanders as they picnic, relax and enjoy warm weather.
Then the light becomes golden, slanted and clear. The days become crisper. Reds, oranges and yellows creep into tree leaves that begin to litter the street. Warm clothes emerge and New Englanders again brace themselves for a cold, gray winter.