I rarely watch or remember commercials but for some reason, this one stuck in my mind. I think it aired about twelve years ago, back when I still found watching TV entertaining. At the time, it helped me learn English and understand North American culture. I actually enjoyed commercials—I could discover products, marketing gimmicks, pop culture jokes and their straightforward message was easy for me to understand.
This is how I remember the script:
A bunch of kids are playing in a residential street. It’s a typical sunny summer day and there isn’t a single cloud in the sky. Suddenly, one kid stops and lets out one big scream, pointing at something on the ground. His friends gather around him and start screaming as well. Finally, the camera zooms in and reveals a single red leaf on the ground. Voice-over: “it’s back-to-school time, kids!”
Like these kids, I almost screamed when I saw the first red leaf on the grey asphalt. I like summer and I dread winter. I live in the wrong country, I know.
But then, I remembered that this transition season doesn’t have to suck (looking at you, spring). In Canada, it’s actually an enjoyable time of the year. There is Thanksgiving, Halloween, plenty of cool squashes and pumpkin spice drinks and treats (there is a huge fanbase for them, trust me!), the days are cooler but the temperature is still warm enough…
… and of course, fall colours. You can’t underestimate the impact of fall foliage on the mood. Seriously, it’s amazing. We don’t have sad-looking trees and rotten leaves, we are treated to an explosion of colours. Here and there, you can see random passers-by pulling out their cellphone to snap a picture of a tree, a single leaf, a road covered with leaves.
We used to look for the best spots to admire fall colours—top choices are of course Gatineau Park, but also Vincent Massey Park, Rideau Hall or the Rideau Canal. But these past two years, I realised that fall beauty is all around us, no matter where we are. You can walk in a small street in a bland residential neighbourhood and spot an amazing red maple tree. Just keep your eyes open and enjoy beauty where you find it!
Single leaves on the ground are amazing as well. Each displays a unique range of colours and patterns along the veins. Just grabbing a handful and looking at them one by one makes you appreciate the beauty of the world. No, I’m not stoned, thank you for asking.
Over the past ten days, I tried to capture this year’s fall atmosphere—under the rain, during cooler days and before the wind blows all the leaves away. Enjoy!