Autumn has finally turned the world into a bland, unending expanse of brittle yellow, broken by cracks of faded browns and dusty shades of forgotten bone. The leaves have mostly fallen and scattered or been torn up––once-leaves, sliver shards, hardly even remnants of their former selves. The green has faded from the grass and the ground is slowly contracting and hardening and although winter has not yet appeared I can catch glimpses of her out of the corner of my eye, flirting behind an aspen, crouching amid the frost in the grass, running her fingers along the black iron of the gates.
There is one place, though––a silly place––that Duncan led me to this morning and again on our evening walk: the courtyard surrounding the hot tub. He pulled me to the gate and leaned in close to the bars, his tail swishing as a happy moan hummed in his throat. He turned and smiled at me, watching as I took in the color. One tree, hanging low over the tub, is still green but with the most vibrant and plump gold and red leaves fanning throughout the branches. The colors were shocking, and standing there, gazing at them, watching the dew roll slowly down the open face of a leaf, collecting drop after drop, growing as it moved, I could hardly believe how impossibly lush and new it looked. The cold vanished from the air and I felt years younger, exactly as I needed to feel today.
"[He] stood awhile still lost in wonder. It seemed to him that he had stepped through a high window that looked on a vanished world. A light was upon it for which his language had no name. All that he saw was shapely, but the shapes seemed at once clear cut, as if they had been first conceived and drawn at the uncovering of his eyes, and ancient as if they had endured for ever. He saw no colour but those he knew, gold and white and blue and green, but they were fresh and poignant, as if he had at that moment first perceived them and made for them names new and wonderful. In winter here no heart could mourn for summer or for spring. No blemish or sickness or deformity could be seen in anything that grew upon the earth. On the land of Lórien, there was no stain." (J.R.R. Tolkien)