As Autumn Approaches, So Does All That Glorious Color!

Photo by Tim Green -

Even for someone especially sensitive to the dwindling hours of sunlight as we in the northern hemisphere head into Autumn, there’s one thing that helps offset the effects of an impending light-deprived funk: it’s all that glorious color!

I must confess that Fall is not my most favorite time of year. That distinction belongs to Spring. The reason Spring holds first place in my heart is primarily because the gradually lengthening days never fail to bring me out of the light-deprived funk I always fall into during the winter months. And with each new bud that appears and the slow greening of the landscape, I not only know that longer light-filled days are ahead, but I also begin to come out of a sort of emotional hibernation and become more alive.

Still, Autumn does hold a special place, and the reason it does is because of all the glorious color.

Color has always had a special place in the human experience. It can have a huge impact on our mood, our emotions, our thought processes, and even our level of motivation. Advertisers know this, as do interior designers, artists, and even specialists in gambling casino layouts. It’s in our very nature to be affected by color.

It seems to me that the colors of Fall have a distinct capacity to simultaneously stimulate, soothe and comfort the human soul. It’s in the very nature of the Autumn colors to exude passion as well as warmth and gentleness. When the leaves begin to blaze red, it feels like life is making one last passionate statement about its power and grandeur before retiring. The oranges, yellows and browns set a more calming tone. Because blue is the peaceful color, the calming tones of the leaves, coupled with the clear blue sky can have a particularly soothing effect. And as the leaves begin to fall, the whole process that occurs as the ground is gently covered makes it seem like nature is slowly, warmly, and peacefully, tucking itself in for the winter.

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I have been a few places on this Earth where viewing the fall colors can really take your breath away. The mountainous areas of the northeastern part of the United States, especially areas in the states of Vermont and New Hampshire, can be particularly picturesque. As odd as it might seem, the same is true for the northern rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, where the aspens make their unique displays. Some have likened the atmosphere of the Rhine River valley to that of an angel’s living quarters, possibly because of the way the colors of the tree-laden hillsides and the vineyards blend together. In northeastern Canada, there are still sugar maple trees to be found. And as far as I’m concerned, no leaf on earth can match the beauty of a maple leaf as it goes through its ritual color exhibition in preparation for its eventual descent.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Fall would be my least favorite season were it not for the color. I am so sunlight sensitive that the shortening, darkening days are never a welcome event for me. But the abundance of color and the statements nature seems to make with its grand displays take a lot of the sting out of the knowledge that winter is right around the corner. So, the autumn season is still one of my favorite times of the year – but only because of all that glorious color!

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr George Simon, PhD on .

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