I love Paris in the fall. I should offer a disclaimer, that after 4 years of school in Michigan, I have pretty high standards for fall. Michigan falls are breathtaking, though you of course pay for them with Michigan winters, which are too cold to breath. Fall in a big city is different. Some days I will forget, then find myself caught in a swirl of leaves blown up from a garden. After a week of almost spring like weather, the sky has returned to a crisp cool grey and the air has that Christmassy feel. The other night I climbed up on my roof to see Paris stretched out before me. The orange tops of all the trees the Jardin du Luxembourg seem even more brilliant when contrasted against the endless slate grey roofs.
Hemmingway write that you expected to be sad in Paris in the fall, but I am not so sure I believe. I feel like fall has its own excitement and beauty, one full of expectation as every day shows a marked change in nature. I always feel a little sad when fall is over, but could happily live in multiple months of autumn. In Luxembourg right now they have finished raking all the leaves. This means that there are enormous piles of leaves everywhere just waiting for someone to jump in them. I realize that jumping into the leaves is like wearing a giant T-Shirt that says “Tourist” on it, but I just couldn’t help it, this mound was too large to be ignored. Shortly after I sailed through the air into golden splendor (which was very hard, by the way, not like I imagined), I watched two little girls do the same. I then watched two policemen reprimand them harshly.
Minus the leaves, the gardens are a starker sort of beauty, long rows of symmetrical trees with dots of color from the bright fuchsia, red, and orange mums that line all of the monuments. It is also easier to see all the people exercising in the gardens. By this I mean, doing various forms of yoga, tai chi, and marshal arts through the barren trees. It is like an eerie dream, seeing an army of middle aged well dressed Parisians moving stealthily through the trees with giant sticks. As I go huffing around the gardens on my runs, I am constantly having to dodge people realigning their karma or preparing to be ninjas. Perhaps someday I will jump into another pile of leaves under the pretense of avoiding them.