There is a time of year when growing things become weary of their summer fabrics. They flinch in the winds returning from a cooling migration through distant climates. They shed their pastels and charts of primary colors – shrugging them to the ground like discarded cloaks. They then shrivel and pale in the thick, golden sun and shiver in the white stare of the harvest moon.
Trees have spent the year bored with their chlorophyll sameness. Some are condemned to keep the same color throughout the year – their leaves either pins and needs, or viscous green pools: depthless and still. When the third season arrives, their limbs tremble with anger, thinking of their more flamboyant, fortunate cousins.
These are the ones that feel the crackle of color seeping into their veins. And although they fear fire, they flaunt that anxiety, mimicking the flames. They hold the hot, electric leaves like feverish bouquets in the crevices of their arms. They know their enemy well, and are able to reproduce its terrifying heat; their leaves fall to the ground like dying sparks.
And when they have abdicated their crowns of gold and bronze; when the last scarlet ember has fallen away, their branches will be fearsome: silhouettes of broken fingers. Their lost color will swirl about their roots like lava, like an incandescent palatte: licking the ground like a pack of hounds.
This is the fire season, when the trees make their danger beautiful; when they welcome nature's hot embrace, and when the flames will drip from their bodies like sweat.