Wednesday, October 6, 2010

[Hunt for a Red October]

[roadside gems]

Remember that movie, the one with Sean Connery? That is not what this is about. 

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. It is so many things that I love: crisp air, the smell of wood smoke, brilliant colors, textures of wool and flannel and tweed. It makes me nostalgic and sometimes sad, but peaceful and alive and thankful too. I love the food, the smells, the coziness. If I had a nickname, it should probably be cozy. I am addicted to cozy.

Where I grew up, in Northern Indiana back in the USA, autumn was beautiful, but not brilliant. The colors there are present, but not breathtaking. When I lived in the West, at the base of the Teton Mountains, fall came early and the golden aspens shimmered like drops of sunlight, painting the valleys and foothills with their honey colored splendor. When I moved to the outskirts of Philadelphia to attend college, and later stayed as a newly married couple, I knew that the autumns of the East were unrivaled anywhere else. 

Then I moved to China, to a city that is nearly the same latitude as Philadelphia, but where the fall season falls far short. Leaves here don't change colors; they simply turn brown, shrivel, and fall off. There is an abundance of apples, but no nearby orchards to go picking in, and no farms with hay bales or pumpkin patches or shelves lined with fresh cider. There is no Yankee Candle store with the Spiced Pumpkin calling my name. 

It is however the most beautiful time of year in this city by the sea. The air finally cools down from the long, heavy humidity of summer, the sky clears a bit from the fog and smog and strikes a brilliant blue pose, sometimes for weeks at a time. Autumn in China has its particular charms, which I sometimes notice when I take the time to look for them.

As a foreigner here, I am longing for the comforts of my own autumnal history, but am wanting to enjoy and even accept the presence of autumn in this place. For this country, red is a color that represents so much and is so vital both aesthetically and philosophically. So for this next month, I will [Hunt for a Red October], the beauty of the autumn that I love, here in this city in China. 

The format will be similar to [month of mornings] in that it will be through just pictures, or words, or both, and  hopefully every day, as inspiration allows!
This is not an organized effort, but if you feel inspired or have a desire to share words or pictures of your own, please feel welcome to share a link in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. i will come back to see your fall photos then =) i will be leaving for china again this sunday, i hope i will see fall colors, somehow, in the industrial zone =) i love your photos ♥