The trees are on fire.
Even in this perfect, sparkling black, the flames burn on. In shades of rust, of gold, of earth and of blood, they light up the skies in a closing cry before their fall.
The air is scrubbed clean. The heaviness of a long-time drought fades in this crisp new painting. The close, soupy atmosphere of ages previous has all but vanished, expelled in contempt by a colourful new reign.
The stars have never looked so sharp, like each is coated in diamonds and ice. Each point of light, so very far away for something so clear, has its own crown, a splendid jewel suspended on black velvet for the earth to envy.
The world is giving a vibrant final performance, one last play before the curtain falls and the theatre is emptied for the season. The stage is so brisk and beautiful, even though the audience knows that soon, this arena will be a bleak and deadened floor. And the trees put on a spectacular display, an act that will cause the winds to hail them with thunderous applause.
And there it is.
The lights have long dimmed, but the breezes come for an encore of excitement. Writhing and cascading, cold and sweet, loving and awe-struck. The trees bow once more, their eye-catching costumes slowly being shed in retirement, never to be reproduced, never to be rivalled, never to be equalled.
I stand in the middle of it all, watching this brilliant presentation with my own eyes. The winds are catching my hair and I catch their joy in turn. I breathe deep the very essence of a play well-shown, and I applaud, too. The air is coating my lungs in a delicious frost, so refreshing after the tired, muggy mists that have plagued me for months. The tiny pinpricks of light that serve as spotlights for this script are so very bright and dazzling, it makes me jealous of the sky that holds them.
As the autumn attire of the oaks and maples coat the ground beneath my feet, I sigh, my breath erupting in a plume of fog that laughs as it dances heavenward. I look about the auditorium. The ancient pink roses, now brown with age, seem not angered by summer's sudden departure from the cast, but rather relieved that their season is done, and they can sleep long and soft. The heat of a summer prolonged is fading out, tired with the constant upkeep of the divas that demand such constant attention.
And the trees.
Their act is one that will always bring the crowds back. They show such life even when their lives are so close to finished. They make sure that their performances are ever-yearned for, acting in such pure passion that everyone says there will never be any quite like them. They give themselves up for their craft, as any true professional would, so their fans will remember them for years to come. In search for the best show they could produce, the elms and beeches, the oaks and maples...all have sacrificed their own beings, subjecting themselves to a beautiful death for the masses to enjoy.
And so, for one autumn night, the trees are on fire.