Maybe autumn by you this year is spectacular. Maybe the trees are blazing with vermilion red and juicy orange and Fort Knox gold leaves.
Or maybe, like me, you are seeing deciduous trees that should be reaching their glory days but instead are fading to a meek grayish-brown. Their leaves hang from the trees as though too exhausted to put up a fight against winter—the kind of gritty brawl culminating in those vibrant primary-tinted bruises of foliage that won’t go down without a fight. No, the trees here are waving dingy dishrag-color leaves in surrender.
What is the deal? Our hit-and-miss precipitation of the last past season may be responsible. We’ll go for months with almost constant rain and then see weeks of iron skies and parched earth. The leaves may be tired of all the drama and just want to drift quietly to the ground with little fanfare.
Are these leaf-shedders following the spirit of the times, ashamed of their deciduous privilege? Or, conversely, envious of their evergreen siblings? Who knows. And who knows but that autumn might surprise me and coming storming back in a blaze of eye-searing hues.
It could happen.
In the meantime, (and for my Midwest-homesick son living in gravelly L.A.) I will feast my eyes on these visions of Autumn Past.