Although I can’t specifically remembering her telling me so, I’m sure Autumn was my Mom’s favorite season. I also know that Autumn Leaves was one of her favorite songs. She liked the Roger Williams version known more for its cascading arpeggios than its sentiment. Me? When I lived back East, autumn was my favorite season, too, but I wasn’t very fond of Autumn Leaves until I heard Eva Cassidy’s beautiful but melancholy version.
When we were kids, we’d collect Autumn Leaves to bring home and wax. Mom would melt paraffin in an old saucepan and we’d dip them in the clear hot liquid. When the paraffin dried, the leaves would keep their color for months, pinned to our bulletin boards or glued to colored construction paper. Nobody ever waxed Winter Leaves or wrote songs about them either. Yeah, Joni Mitchell mentioned them in her song, Urge for Going (But when the leaves fell on the ground, and Bully winds came around, pushed them face down in the snow) but that was just in passing.
It’s different in Socal. When we moved here, people told us we’d miss the seasons, as if there weren’t any. In fact, there are three, Spring, Summer and Autumn. We just skip the nasty cold and white stuff but call our Autumn Winter so we won’t seem to showing off. Consequently, Winter is my favorite season in California. This week, as Muri and I were walking in our park, we found some liquid amber leaves that had blown in from a nearby neighborhood. Liquid amber trees are the closest thing we have to maples here in Socal, and the leaves were brilliant red. I didn’t have any paraffin handy but I did have my sketchbook, so here’s a Winter Leaf. New Years Resolution 5 is safe for another week.