Michael Divine

Fall in Los Angeles

Some say there is no Autumn in Los Angeles. This may or may not be true. Techinically there is a “fall” everywhere. There are those of us who come from the Northeastern U.S. and claim to have seen THE FALL. The big hurrah of fireworks trees in orange and red and yellow and purple and gold and green. The carpets of color across hills or mountainsides or neighborhood streets. Remembering the kicking along of the crackling maple leaves underneath my feet as I walked home in fourth grade, fifth grade, whenever it suited me to shuffle along- even the forty year old buiness man likes to kick along in the leaves. The crispness in the air and the freshness returning to the cheeks as the last dregs of summer slip away…

Then, years after the fourth grade, I find myself here in Los Angeles, willingly of course, living in a sweet little pad a few blocks from the beach where a heavy blanket of clouds covers the sky for the past few days and maybe, just maybe, somewhere a tinge of color tints a leaf.

A few days back we were out in the desert, in the Mojave. A Full Moon Gathering and a blustery day but not blustery enough for my sweet Violet to fly away while i held onto the unraveling thread of her sweater.

Look, here, said Violet to me, as we walked across the high desert, between chunks of quartz and prickly bushes, low to the ground. She was kneeling fingering a colored branch between her fingers. Look at this color, look at the subtle hues of the tumble weed or the peculiar shade of cactus, or the whiter than usual sages. There is a color shift even in the desert in the fall. The colors are all there- the dusky brown, the deep gold, the rich purple.

And the sage green, which i have yet to find much of in the forests.

Yes, they are there, they are everywhere, the colors of change. Yes, the air does not have the faint and ever so waftingly sweet scent of apples and dry leaves, but a small price to pay really for the sweetness nonetheless that we get to enjoy. The sunny days, and warm autumn afternoons and wide open skies which await above the blanket of cloud or marine layer fog which rolls in. This so-called mediterranean climate. Or maybe their weather there is just a Californian climate.

So I make some hot chocolate and clean my brushes and return to the canvas, painting a compassionate goddess decending over wash of greens and browns…

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