Jetlag gets me up at dawn. It is autumn and the bedroom is suffused with a light yellow. The yellow is from the maple leaves shading my bedroom window. Which is why I call this particular shade of yellow ‘Spitzahorn-yellow’.
Outside, the wind blows and dies, blows and dies. Snug under my covers, I am mesmerised by the galactic tugs-of-war going on outside.
The leaves that are exposed to the gusts are being vigorously yanked. Blown every which way, they nod madly away as if possessed. But their fiery red stalks hold.
In contrast, the leaves that are shielded are completely still, content in making W-shaped patterns with the ones opposite.
But it’s so suspenseful – which leaves will survive this blast, which won’t? And if they do perchance all survive, for how long?
As often happens when considering fall foliage, I think of O. Henry’s poignant tale of redemption, ‘The Last Leaf’.
The tops of the trees are already bare, but I know now after keen observation of two seasonal changes in Berlin, that life is tightly conserved over winter in the ends of the bud-like stems and stalks.
Still, the mossy green branches do look cold and hard, serving to emphasise the fluttery fragility of the yellow leaves.
The next dawn, the light is paler, turning the branches black and the leaves, a yellow, shimmery iridescence that is almost transparent.
This soft shade filters into the bedroom in a way that makes my heart lurch – ethereal, other-worldly and stunning, it transforms the functional Ikea-furnitured room into a Brothers Grimm fairy tale copse. ω