Sunday best: Falling back

Toronto's autumn has been damp, almost Irish this year. Those crisp blue and gold days I love the most have been elusive. But today the sky is clear azure and the light is long.

I have a few really happy places in the world. Those of you who read here know them. The head at Howth, a trail I never tire of. Sometimes, when the heather and gorse are in full bloom and the sky gives up a certain light and the sea a certain boom, its beauty is theatrical. But more often it's earthy and subdued. And I've learned to love that mutability, the days when it's just a simple place of browning ferns as well as those when it assaults every sense.

The cemetery near my apartment here has the same seasonal mutability. In fall and spring, the trees go through their choreographed dance of colours. And today was one of those days. Leaf and light synchronized magically.

Last year, I photographed the fall colours and I happened upon this one plaque that read Flora. Such name plaques surround larger family headstones. Often they read simply Mother, or Father, even - tragically - Baby. I haven't been able to find Flora since last year. I look every time. Today, I pushed leaves off an Ella and Robbie. One said Meta. But Flora eluded me again.

I walked up and down the section I thought she was in, pocketing conkers and photographing the dew on fallen leaves. It's possible I'll never find her; it's a huge cemetery and I meander when I'm there, never going back the way I came, which is one of my rules when walking. But I've begun to enjoy the looking too, the way Flora has become meaningful to me in some way, though I don't know a thing about her. The way, more generally, we imbue meaning and belonging in places we have no right or reason to, but how much of us that all makes up.

Products: Gamine cardigan from La Garconne | Cathy Waterman Rose Cut Diamond Leaf Necklace from Twist | Joliette dress from Toast | Satin Lip Pencil from NARS | RED Valentino Bow Flat Boots from Shopbop | Mulberry Ribbed cashmere scarf from Net-a-Porter
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