In Praise of Autumn
The beauty of autumn lies partly in its clarity.
Some people have a pair of autumn-like eyes, and others have an autumn bearing.
The beauty of Chinese sweet gum that represents the autumn season lies not only in its frost-bitten and plain red colour, especially in its valiantness in the wind.
When leaves gradually become thinly scattered, autumn reveals its elegance. It is a part of its freedom and ease that is unnecessary of any embellishment and its proud and aloof air that requires no worldly prosperity.
However, the most charming scene is the autumn woods when shone upon by the setting sun! The intoxicating flushing red sets off the gradually-deepened evening glow in the sky, and the clear coolness brought about by evening breeze slowly dies in the quiet charm in the desolation of dusk glow. At this, you can’t help but shed some strings of tears in recollection, and then are submitted to the gradually fading flushing red. Thus, you are only too willing to still your overflowing feelings and let them freeze.
There was once an artist who painted a picture of “Autumn Yard”, showing some tall, frost-bitten Chinese sweet gums, which were quietly shielding the seclusion of the yard. Behind the woods, the gates were deeply concealed. What an endless loneliness! It seemed as if I had once lived and tasted the solitude of the autumn season here. But I still want to stealthily step into this painting to call the deeply-concealed gates and see how much grey dust has piled there and how many traces of life are hidden away.
The thing which gives man most food for thought is the leisure in autumn clouds. As they drift away from the human world, they are so pale, so calm and silent, so indifferent to the worldly sadness and happy outcries.
The autumn wind is the purest – without a trace of decoration. When it sweeps across the garden woods, it is so light and brisk, not sentimentally attached to the shower after shower of falling leaves. Seasons are after all seasons, suppression is suppression, life and death are life and death and, joys and sorrows are joys and sorrows. There is no need for interference or nostalgia.
The autumn water is as clear as the wind. “White egret and sandy gull are enough to embellish autumn river,” is a vivid description of this part of autumn clarity. There is nothing to worry about, feel nervous about or stick to. “So proud and aloof before the marquis with ten thousand households, an old illiterate man fishes in a mist-covered water.” Autumn is exactly like this, spotless.
“Leisure clouds and wild cranes” is one topic of autumn. It is only a smidgen of white cloud in the clear autumn sky that can be worthy of the name “leisure”. The beauty of the wild crane is pale as the autumn water, distant as the autumn hills, and that part of the elusive, unrestrained elegance is worthy of the name “elegance”. “Leisure” and “elegance” are just enough to embody the nature of autumn.
Some people possess such autumn beauty and nobody but such men can possess such beauty. Such beauty comes from within. He owns everything yet wants nothing. It is a clarity and openness formed through a very comprehensive cognition and understanding.
Autumn is the season for maturity, the season of harvest. It is the season of being fruitful and also the season of being indifferent to everything as well. It has experienced the vitality of spring and fanfare of summer. It will no longer take pleasure in being praised and indulge in love. It sets all the praise and love outside its own pale sense and is willing to be in peacefulness and quietness, which can neither be held or possessed…Autumn.