Colour! It has to be one of the best things in life. Imagine you’ve only ever seen in black and white and then you wake up one morning, open your eyes and suddenly there is a new world, a world painted in violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and all the million variations. Imagine the wonder!
Autumn is the season where you can hardly fail to wonder at nature’s colours anyway. I am hugely privileged to live on Exmoor, and my morning runs during October have taken me down this road. I just have to keep stopping to look at those beech trees. I do my best to take in the beauty, to drink it up while I can because all too soon the russet and gold splendour will be gone again.
Listen to the recording ‘Les Feuilles Mortes’ that Saffron and I made recently and you might understand why, as I watch the falling leaves, it has been playing in my head almost constantly this month.
Why do we like sad songs? Is it because they touch something very deep inside us that we have no other way of expressing? Or is it perhaps because humans have a need for sorrow as well as for joy?
As creators we are constantly drawing inspiration from the Great Creation all around us. We need to think hard about our colour palette. We need to avoid blandness and cliches. We need our stories and songs to progress and change.
This month I (pretty much) finished my novel and guess what - it's set on Exmoor! I have done my best to capture those amazing colours and textures. There is music in the story too, of course, and I have gathered up the sad notes and the joyful ones and tried to create a harmonious blend. I have put my characters through all sorts of struggles, loss and pain before bringing them to some sort of resolution.
Now that it's over I feel bereft, as if all my leaves have fallen. But I hope and trust it won't be long before I start sprouting new inspiration.