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Jeff Ashley, Rutland

RH: OK, tell me about the fall. This was the fall festival today. What’s different about the fall? What are the characteristics of the season that appeal to you?

JA: The ending of one season and the beginning of another. And with that seems to come a lot of fun family and foliage activities such as this here today. It’s a good time to get out and close one chapter, and open up the beginning of another with fall. It’s a very fun time of the year — the colors — and it’s just a beautiful time of the year. It’s special.

Phil Whitman, Poultney

I like the changeability, I guess, the unpredictability of the weather. Thought it was going to be really cold and rainy today — it’s really nice out.

RH: What about the quality of the light? I see you’re an artist.

PW: It’s pretty crystalline here, right? It’s a pretty spectacular day.

Alex Morgan, Colchester

It looks beautiful, first off. I really like the fall foods, Thanksgiving foods. Fall beers. Big fan. I’m actually going to the Rutland Beer Works homebrew competition for the Humane Society to enjoy some beers there.

Bill Ramage, Rutland

I think about this. There’s a relationship between ambient sound and the ambient light, and the fall is kind of special. The sun is much lower and beside that, the trees are changing colors, and they sort of contribute to the quality of ambient light. It seems like the fall light is warmer than the light from the other three seasons. And the winter light is not because it’s cold outside but because the light is white and blue rather than yellow and orange. And the sound is different. I mean, the summer sound is noisy, the fall sound is subdued. Winter sound is sometimes deafening because it’s so quiet. It is a special time. At sunset, particularly when it’s reflecting off the trees, it’s just golden.

Jay Fitzgerald, Winooski

I like how everything changes, you know, the evolution. In the summer, everything’s bright and then green, and then it turns fall and the leaves start changing, and the smells of the apple cider, and maple syrup. All the nice, you know, smells you get from different foods.

RH: It used to be the smell of burning leaves, but we don’t do that anymore.

JF: No, no. Apple pie.

Daishin, Cornwall

D (John Widell): (holding a handmade sign he’s just made, white letters on a black board): It says, “Please help. Dollar sign (money) or food. Thank you!” I’m going to go out and beg. I’m on the third day of my street retreat. I’m a Zen Buddhist. I live in the Breadloaf Mountain Zen Community up in Cornwall, and four of us came down to Rutland on Thursday with a dollar and our ID and a sleeping bag, which we haven’t actually had to use because we’ve been living in the shelter in Rutland. Do you want me to talk about the light?

RH: Yeah! Do you have any thoughts about the light? Because you’re out there on the street.

D: I’ve been out there, and it’s definitely one of the things I’ve noticed. It’s my first autumn in Vermont. I lived in New Mexico before this. We have the aspens, but there’s something different about those big golden leaves on the maples and the orange leaves. And, yeah, there’s a stillness to it, which is kind of what we’re after in Zen practice, and it’s something to notice when you’re on the street aside from the high starch diet. You know, people are fed in this town, but they’re fed doughnuts, which is nice — I’m very grateful for doughnuts, but I feel like I should have brought some eggs. We have chickens up there for that. And it’s been an awesome practice. This is our first day to go wandering out alone, and we’re actually required to go beg, so I’m going to go try that. We’ll see how that goes.

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