I think of fall as the Yellow Time for flowers.

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The word yellow comes from the Old English geolu. The color is associated with sunshine, knowledge, and the flourishing of living creatures, but also with autumn and maturity, the dry August and September heat that starts the process.

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Of course there are yellows throughout the gardening season.

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In China, yellow is assigned to the active and creative male Yang principle, while ancient Egyptians ascribed yellow to the female principle.

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Both the sun and gold are yellow and, for ancient Egyptians, were imperishable, eternal, and indestructible. The skin and bones of the gods were believed to be gold, so their statues were often made of or plated with gold. Mummy masks and cases of the pharaohs could be gold. When the pharaoh died he became the risen Osiris and a god himself.

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In the Chinese Taoist tradition the highest stage of enlightenment was pictured as a golden flower growing from the top of the head.

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Almost universally, yellow is associated with joy and gaiety.
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But, in the West, it is also associated with jaundice and cowardice. Maybe that’s why yellow is the color of caution — the yellow light tells us to slow down, get ready to stop; police ribbons create a barricade at crime scenes. (In Italy, starting in about 1930, “yellow” (giallo) referred to books of crime stories, which had yellow covers.)

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