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  • Writer's pictureMark Stefan Reinoso

Portland, Part 3: "Autumn"

Updated: Nov 28, 2019

"Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year." Chad Sugg

I can't even begin to tell you how beautiful the fall is in Oregon. Autumn is simply my favorite time of year anywhere, but it's especially so here. Arizona has great fall foliage, but it's in the north, 2-3 hours outside of Phoenix. You almost have to pack a lunch, to make a pilgrimage just to see it, and that seems like a bit too much hassle for something that changes so quickly. There is a beauty to the desert, where I live, but it's not the same, it's not overpowering, all encompassing like this time of year. There is something about seeing these leaves in everyday life that I can't explain. Going to the store, picking up my dry cleaning, walking down the street, every time I look up, I'm face to face with vibrant colors, like I am looking through a kaleidoscope. This decay, this rot......... it's magnificent. It's mid October, peak fall foliage. I make excuses to drive past certain trees and neighborhoods just so I can see it. I watch these trees daily in various states of undress, it's the ultimate striptease. I love the way the neighborhoods were built, with their narrow-ish streets and the tall natural canopy that seems to preside over it all. When the light hits the trees, I stand in awe, all alone in nature's cathedral. Maples, Ash, and Dogwoods dominate the color show, along with others types I can't identify. Seeing this foliage is just like a lot of funny situations...... I guess you had to be there to appreciate it.

I love watching the homeowners and landscapers frantically try to rake all the leaves, only to turn around and see hundreds more falling. I love watching others luxuriate in nature's fireworks show, unabashed in their adoration of God's gift. I love thinking about my mother, who loved Portland and autumn, how she would act with all of this. I can practically hear her voice as I pick up leaves and look at certain trees. I love the crisp weather on my face, seeing my breath in the air. I love the "Swish" sounds my feet make when I walk through the leaves. I love seeing my kids playing in the discarded remains of these incredible trees. I love feeling close to nature. I love taking deep breaths of the cool, moist air. I love fall. I love it all....

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