There’s no time more beautiful than autumn in Colorado

Autumn in Colorado — the most beautiful season of the year.

This is the season that makes me the most thankful that I have lived 90 years in this beautiful state. The other six years were spent in beautiful areas, but not like ours.

Autumn gives me a peaceful feeling and welcome slowing of pace.

Samuel Butler felt the same way. “Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.”

Autumn in Colorado is the season of brilliant color, desert colors and mountain colors. In the spring everything is green. In the fall we find every color of the rainbow.

And it lasts from early September until after Thanksgiving. The trouble is, if you could call it trouble, you never know just what you are going to find when you wake up in the morning. There may even be snow on the ground. It varies from day to day, but very often it ends up with a pure blue sky — Colorado blue.

One September morning, I was heading west for my Wednesday coffee klatch. As I drove west, the western sky was black as night. A few minutes later, with a cup of hot coffee in my hand, I looked out an east window and it was like another land. The light was bright, the sun was behind a wispy white cloud and the wind had the trees nearly horizontal.

Five minutes later, the trees were upright and motionless. When we drove home, the eastern sky from horizon to horizon was perfect Colorado blue with not a cloud to be seen.

It will be like this almost all the time until after Thanksgiving.  I sometimes think turkeys have an influence.

Now that I am in what might be called politely my autumn years (well, maybe a little past) I do remember autumns of the past.

To the young, autumn means anything but peace. For most of them, it means school. To me, from Lowell School through Englewood High School, fall meant getting up and trudging off to school. Take the bus?  What’s a bus?

And then came college and there were football games, especially the Thanksgiving Day game between Colorado University and Denver University in the old Merchants Park in Denver. To my regret, Whizzer White did not come along until four years later.

Another highly memorable thing about those college years in Boulder was the wind. I have mentioned the autumn wind, haven’t I? I usually spent late afternoon in the gym, and getting from there to my sorority house was an adventure. The wind came down from the west and I had to go — west.

Fortunately there were big trees along the street. I could duck down and run to the first tree and catch my breath and then run from tree to tree. And we think we have wind in Grand Junction.

Then there was the day in September when my youngest flew off to college. He had never flown and was unaccompanied by anyone he knew. I think I stood by that fence at Walker Field and watched the plane until it got to Los Angeles.

And then there is daylight saving time. In the fall we get rid of it. My friend, the philosopher, has the theory that anything bad which happens while it is in place is the fault of daylight saving time. This theory has not been scientifically proved, but she stands by it.

Colorado in any season is a wonderful place to live. But in the autumn the trees turn gold and purple and red, the air smells lovely, and people my age sort of relax and breathe it in.

William C. Bryant says: “Autumn. The year’s last, loveliest smile. “

Henrietta Hay can be reached by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and on the web at http://www.henriettahay.com.


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