Here, where we live, the autumn has come upon us imperceptibly and we have not noticed its gradual approach.
A yellowish tinge comes over the big cottonwood trees so slowly we do not see it until we go away and come back, then our eyes are fresh and we suddenly see that summer is over.
The trees change color quickly now for there is frost at night and they are showing every shade of yellow against the dark mountains. The distance turns a deeper blue for all the yellow near us.
After the trees are fully turned and are like torches of fiery yellow, often with coral red tips, and others are big balls of radiant, sun-colored loveliness, they have a long quiet pause before the end.
Day after day of Indian summer passes, breathless, when the whole valley is immobile and every leaf is motionless, shining golden and still. What days! One moves in a dream through the country, scarcely able to believe one's eyes, for the wonder of it.
Again the cottonwood trees were yellow against the dark-blue sky and there was no wind—not a breath of a breeze in the rich autumnal air.
This past Sunday I drove from Santa Fe to Taos, and all along the Rio Grande clusters and families of golden-glow cottonwoods loomed over the river as it snaked along the canyon. As evening deepened the color on the trees intensified from rich goldenrod to cadmium orange, morphing finally to rosy bronze. No camera could have captured this: I have it only in my mind's eye...and you must imagine it. When I arrived at the overlook onto the Rio Grande Gorge and Taos Mountain with the valley spreading as wide as the eye could see, it seemed that globes of cottonwoods festooned the sweep like so many tethered balloons looming over the landscape.
It's gone now. It's raining and the glow is gone. But not the memory and not the thrill of seeing nature wearing her glory coat of autumn.
With hopes that this has provided you with a feast for the eyes and a different view of Mabel Dodge Luhan.
Adios for now,