Ralph Waldo Emerson said that the earth laughs in flowers. Autumn has Berlin firmly in its grip and summer’s bursts of colour have all but faded with grey skies that seem to wash over the city daily. I find myself having to fight off impending winter blues for the first time since moving here and I constantly have to remind myself to look to the trees where autumn shows itself, in the words of Albert Camus, to be a second spring where every leaf is a flower.
Today the sun is shining, shedding light on a palette of colours that so easily sink from sight on greyer days. In The Color Purple, Alice Walker writes, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” I do not think that God gets “pissed off” in the way that I would, but I do agree that we should use the eyes we’ve heen given to see beauty, colour and life in their plethora of configurations.
Today’s clear blue skies and white gold sun make it is easier to see and treasure the colours but when the light drains from the sky I find myself relating very strongly to Johannes Itten’s words, “Colour is life; for a world without colours appears to us as dead.” A key challenge is facing the darkness with the resolve to see and appreciate colour in every shade and form even in that place. I borrow a beautiful take on this from Rabindranath Tagore’s, Stray Birds, “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky.”