Hold your favorite season close to your heart

by - Tuesday, April 16, 2024

For someone living in a tropical country, the sights, sounds and scents of each unfurling season is a novelty that can only be experienced vicariously. When the autumn season visits the western hemisphere, we can taste once again the limited edition pumpkin spiced lattes and frappes from Starbucks or the occasional fresh/dried permissions from Korea. When spring comes, Daiso is full of sakura themed items. You would know it's winter when our local Uniqlo or H&M stores start stocking their shelves with lightweight puffer jackets and woolen jackets. Of course, we have no use for these seasonal items unless we pack our bags and hie off to a four-season country  for a whirlwind seasonal escape. 

Many years ago, I boldly enthused that spring is my favorite season. While sipping bottled  coffee in a park bench somewhere in Yeouido Park, I enjoyed a cloudless blue sky framed by swaying cherry blossom trees. A sudden gust of wind swept through the trees and pretty pink petals started to fall. It left me with a tinge of sadness and wonder knowing that cherry blossom petals fall to the ground 5 centimeters per second. How do you freeze the 5 seconds before it all becomes a distant spring memory? 

Then there’s autumn. Recently, my friend and I visited Yoyogi Park during Tokyo’s red leaf peak. Crunchy ginko leaves crackled beneath our feet and golden hour light filtered through the bare branches of forest trees. It was a beautiful, bejeweled memory and the woods shimmered in delight. 

In contrast to spring, autumn's beauty lies in the deepening of colors. Burgundy, wine, vermillion, cocoa, burnt orange and other earthy tones are colors that I learned to appreciate now that I'm in my late forties. Maybe my pink/pastel era is officially over and I really am maturing as a person as reflected in my evolving preference for colors. 

Autumn is now my favorite season. Growing older that might change that preference. I'm glad that with technological modernity, I don't need to press a summer flower in between the pages of a heavy dictionary. I just need to photograph a moment in time and just like the scrapbooks of yore, preserve core memories in a perfectly bound photobook

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