Our usual saying about fall color in South Mississippi is that leaves turn brown and then turn loose. Summer holds on too long, and leaves don’t get long enough between seasons for the green color-hiding chlorophyll to dissipate and reveal the yellows, reds, and oranges.
This year has been a bit different. There aren’t the huge splashes of color like those in the hills of North Mississippi, but here and there fall foliage lovers can find a bit of satisfaction. In fact, that satisfaction can intrude on tasks listed on the to-do list.
This past Monday on a day that the weatherman hinted might be the last of pleasant warm days with a light breeze, the view from my porch swing included a colorful sweet gum tree silhouetted against a dark green pine with a background of a blue, white-clouded sky. Yellow, red, and orange leaves twisted and turned in the breeze. Without moving my head, I could see the yellow of an unknown tree farther down the ditch with an orange crepe myrtle waving in front.
My conscience reminded me of my “to-do” list that was inside on my computer. Arguing with myself, I knew this kind of day and this view would likely not come again this year. I moved from critic and lawyer to become the arbitrator. Some of those things on the “to-do” list, the reading and writing, could be done just as easily outside either on the swing or the wrought iron picnic table. I could combine work and pleasure.
Having made peace with me, myself, and I, the day became pleasant with the breeze and the view, and productive with reading and writing. And I have a memory stored in my head to call up when the days of winter are wet and dreary.