Last night autumn arrived, quietly, but with plenty of notice from our weather forecasters. Per the usual (like the good Minnesotans we are) we met autumn at the door with surprise, scorn and concern. The change we feel is much more than just temperature. In our astute Midwestern minds, fall is the reminder that the end of the year is less than four months away… typically followed by a whole lot of white. How will we accomplish all that was supposed to be done in 2014? Will there be as much snow as last year, or less? More weeks of below-average temperatures? And how many more weekends will there be to prep the yard and the exterior of the house? There is so much to do outside…
Once the initial panic has passed we remember all the really great things about autumn in Minnesota. Warm, homemade comfort food, sweatshirts, jeans, scarves and boots. Not to mention the many colors of mums with which to adorn our front steps. If any one of our senses were not available to us during the change from summer to fall, I think we would still recognize autumn. It smells different (leaf piles and bonfires burning), it looks different (leaves changing colors) and it sounds different (leaves falling and rustling around on the ground).
Perhaps the strongest change to our senses is what our eyes perceive. At no other time is our natural world more run a muck with color. It is the red, orange, yellows and greens we miss the most as soon as the snow flies and those same tones we gravitate towards in order to feel warmth. Chances are very good that when you’re cold, your thoughts do not roll towards the white, gray, light blue and dark brown palette of winter. Tones inspired by the colors on the warm end of the color wheel just feel better.
The power associated with color (both magical and scientific) is complex. Color offers much more to us than just visual pleasure. In fact, color can heal, deceive, soothe and excite. It can influence the decisions we make and frighten or support us along the way. While outdoor prep is important for the season ahead, take a moment and enjoy the one we’re in… let your eyes feast on the color and don’t run inside just yet. Put on a jacket and make some visual memories while we’re in this very vibrant season!
-Holly Bayer, ASID