26 September 2008

Fall reflection

There is something comforting about bringing out the electric kettle, diving into the stash of teas, and reinstating the favorite mug after its sabbatical in the cupboard by the kitchen sink. The temperatures have dropped into the low 60s and I've pulled out my favorite brown tweed woolen sweater. It's not really cold yet; autumn is in full swing, although the leaves have not begun to change. The wind tonight tells me that winter is on his way, and will come regardless.

I wanted to say something about the stone floor in the kitchen, but a stone floor is a stone floor -- much like my feet, it seems to enjoy being perpetually cold, regardless of the season. Maybe all a stone floor really wants for is a woolen floor cozy. But then, the floor wouldn't gather any character. The stones in the floor have a slight sheen in the high-traffic areas of the kitchen; I suppose each trip to the fridge or quick peek in the pantry buffs and polishes and infinitesimally wears them down.

It is time for apples and cider and fires outside, for picnics and golden orange burnt amber rust fiery warm and turning the knife-edge of cold, for sharp inhalations and the scent of fall everywhere. Knitting feels more at home now -- although it is a constant throughout the year -- as though it were easier to understand making something warm when one wants, at that moment, a little more warmth -- easier than it was in the slow, hot days before, when warmth was too abundant. Of course, winter brings us slow and hot in different forms; in the wintertime, we slowly sip our hot drinks, relishing its warmth from within -- warmth that dispels the coolness outside.

In this way, humans are rarely at home in their environment: when it's hot outside, they crave cool inside; when it's cold outside, they crave warmth within. The few exceptions are those perfect days of fall (and sometimes spring). For me, fall is the season of perfect balance.

Balance is a recurring theme in my life -- primarily in my artwork. Visual balance -- whether of color, size, weight, value -- is paramount to my work. Balance is important in my spiritual views and in my philosophy. Perhaps that's why I love fall so much. Fall is the fulcrum point of the seasons.

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