Day by day, I counted down autumn’s fierce turn then dying flame in the kitchen skylight until killing frost crept across the glass and a single leaf fluttered, backlit and oxblood red.
I had surrendered nature’s four-color glory to a daily fixation with an HL-2270DW black-and-white laser printer. No more. I fled in search of season remnants—tinted flares yielding mute to pattern and texture.
Lemon ginkgo leaves massed like trembling sulfur butterflies, and monochromatic husks papered over the wildflower meadow. Cottony wisps clouded seed-dotted milkweed pods. Scatterings were in the wind. Monarch butterflies beat southward weeks ago.
A beech dying white lifted my eyes. Why did that skylight—an azure opening laid bare by winter skeletons—root me to hope?