There’s something magnificent and piercing about the sunlight in Fall.  Maybe it’s due to there being fewer clouds.  Without those clouds racing across the sky, as they would on a windy Summer day, the constant movement of the air seems somehow like a surprise.

Not that many Summer days are windy.  But there doesn’t seem to be such a thing as a stagnant Fall day.  The leaves are always swaying, if ever so slightly, as though a voice whispers to them.  As the breeze lifts the hairs on my arms, I wonder what it might be saying to those leaves.  Does it try to comfort them?  Do they sense that the branches that have held them so tight will soon release them to drift back into the earth?  Or does it compliment their loveliness as they burst into flaming reds and oranges, like paper-thin phoenixes?

Maybe there’s no Fall voice.  Maybe there’s not even more wind than usual.  Maybe it just seems that way because the occasional yellow or orange leaf draws our eyes to the specific characteristics of a tree’s form and her branches, preventing us from taking her walls of green for granted, pulling our attention away from our phones or screens, like the red cape of a bullfighter.

Whatever the reason, Fall sunlight is different.  Rather than bounce or reflect off of window panes, the light seems to strike and ricochet, – but not in a violent way, exactly.  Its energy is more manic, desperate – like it knows it’s dieing and fears that death, like it burns to sear itself into our memories before fading away.

The light of Winter is calmer, more resolved – resigned, even – the small percentage of light that survives, that is.  And the Spring light, once it overcomes it’s gentle and tentative first steps, becomes eager and jubilant as it multiplies and reproduces.  Summer light is just lazy – overconfident and entitled.  It quickly grows bored and petty and screams for attention.

But Fall light is sentimental and scared.  And yet grateful.  And quite a sight to behold.


  1. When you use violent action words like pierce, ricochet, manic and sear, Fall sounds like a serial killer with a branding iron. Then I calm down, take my meds and read the OTHER words you wrote and I’m all like”aww, Elly loves fall!”
    Nice word weaving Descripto! Now look out for that rising Phoenix!

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be my bits that are flaming before the rest of these leaves are. That was the worst sentence construction ever and I’m leaving it. So there.

  2. Yep. She’s about to hatch. Nice prose lady, and in an effort to be less gloomy I write down one good thing every morning. Today’s one good thing was “high, thin clouds.” So I’m right there with you. Except for the hatching part.

  3. There is something about the smell of soon-to-be-rotting foliage that makes a person just feel all is right with the world! I’m loving your description of the day and hoping for one just like it tomorrow!

  4. I am going to be shameless and say that we are joined at the hip or something. I was just thinking this morning when I was sitting on the water taxi, with the autumn sun in my face, how I wish I had the right words to describe it. And you did. Love.

    1. There isn’t anyone I’d rather share my hip with. And can it be the one with the sciatic pain? Because I would gladly take some help in carrying that around.

  5. I love fall. Well more specifically I love Indian Summer. Which is warm fall and not the brisk fall you speak of so lovingly.

    Wonderful words strung together in way I could never do.


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