I love fall in France. I suppose I love it more than most because I come from a region of the USA where there is a conspicuous lack of deciduous trees. So, the radiant blushes of color surrounding me in France never cease to amaze. Sometimes I feel like a dolt, pointing out the vibrant reds and oranges that I suppose seem quite normal to most. But lately, I just can’t help myself. With summer gone, and the impending grey winter on my mind, I plan to enjoy every last drop of scarlet, amber and tangerine.
I think what makes fall even more special for me in France, is that there seems to be a boundless amount of planning, both at the public level as well as at the individual level. This dedication to civic design, on the government’s part is seen throughout France, from the smallest village to the major cities. The October flowerbeds and gardens fiery and fierce, compliment the arbors and forest, thoughtfully planted and groomed sometimes centuries ago. Meanwhile I think the Frenchies take pride in their own small piece of the world. They seem to have a very strong sense of follow through and possibly a sense of duty to their fellow citizens to provide their neighbors and community with something lovely to look at. Their sense of esthetics and beauty saturates what might otherwise be a gloomy backdrop to life. I feel a commitment to beauty in France.
So when autumn is in the air and the seasons begin to change, not only are we spoiled by nature’s streaking sweep of the paintbrush, we are also spoiled by la madame’s sixth floor window boxes and her not-so-amateur palette of colors.