A harmony in autumn

The yearly Autumn Moon Festival celebrates the season with fitting grandeur.  Chinatown, San Francisco, September 2003

The yearly Autumn Moon Festival celebrates the season with fitting grandeur.
Chinatown, San Francisco, September 2003

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky, which through the summer is not heard or seen, as if it could not be, as if it had not been!” Percy Bysshe Shelley

If I was absolutely forced to choose a favorite season, it would be autumn.  Even its name is more beautiful in my ears than the names of the other seasons.  It’s a whirl of exciting events: the beginning of a new school year for many of us, the coming of fun holidays that call up our creative and decorative talents as no other season does, the delicious cooling of the weather, drawing us back to the kitchen to bake our favorites and spend time with loved ones.

In San Francisco’s Chinatown, the Autumn Moon Festival begins today.  It is celebrated yearly with seemingly as much color and enthusiasm as the better-known Lunar New Year.  It seems a fitting way to begin the parade of festivities that will follow all over the USA, across many regions and cultures.  As the leaves turn to crimson, orange and gold, and the scent of fireside merriment is in the air, we feel an awakening of the spirit that renders us more than ready to bid farewell to summer’s joys.

What do you love best about autumn?  Do you decorate, bake, or do anything traditional each year to mark the beginning of this lovely season?  I hope you will be able to get outside this week, while the temperatures are still warm but the unmistakable touch of fall is there to energize and refresh you.


  1. HarryS

    God didn’t have to make all the beautiful leaves of fall. He didn’t have to design the ubiquitous process of photosynthesis that evolves into the grand spectacle of joy we see each year.
    He doesn’t have to make the flowers bloom with such tremendous displays of beauty.
    He certainly could have designed another way for his purposes.
    I marvel at God’s generosity. 🙂
    I am awestruck by the wondrous systems put in place for joy and happiness.

    • So true, Harry. I have often marveled at the astounding beauty of the undersea world, of which we humans were unaware for centuries, and which is still not completely known to us. How many other marvels have we not yet discovered? All these things are clues to me, signs of yet more amazing things to come.

  2. Barb Seibel

    I too would name fall as my favorite season. Is it weird that I anticipate being able to wear my jeans and sweatshirts again, like old friends I have missed? The cooler temps, the colors, festivals, family gatherings with a fall menu instead of potato salad and cole slaw. Ohhh fall I love you! Thank you Lord for giving us this wonderful change of seasons!

    • Barb, it’s not weird at all! I too have clothing that is so old and comfortable I can’t bear to part with it– so don’t look too closely into my closet and drawers! 🙂 or for that matter at what I’m wearing. I have an ancient quilt made by my grandmother with scraps of fabric I remember wearing, or seeing family members wear, so long ago that I could never remember without the stitched reminders. YES, fall is a gorgeous bouquet of anticipation, for which I too thank God!

  3. Sheila

    I love, love, love everything about autumn! I call it my “invigorating season” as the cooler temps and changes just get me so fired up. I have a simmering pot of chilli, soup, etc.on the stove every weekend. I do like to hang a fall wreath and fill some pots with mums.This morning in Garden City is as lovely as your blog. Wish you were here! I send my love to y’all. Have a great day…. make it happen!

    • Hi Sheila, it’s a gorgeous day here too – and I WILL make it happen! Thanks for stopping by this morning. I’m sending you a virtual cup of my Pomegranate-flavored black and green tea!

      • Sheila

        I will enjoy! Looking forward to the day we have a tea party together. By the way, we have an 11 year old granddaughter whose beautiful name is Autumn Skye. She has a late November birthday.

        • Sheila, I love the name Autumn. I taught a young girl in Sunday School who had that name – of course, she’s now grown and is a University professor. She’s the only person I’ve ever known who had that name. We will have one festive tea party someday! Maybe in SC on the beach, complete with appropriately beautiful millinery.

  4. Jenelle

    Julia, you blessed woman! I had an aha! moment and you helped me realize why. Fall draws us back into the kitchen to bake and be with loved ones…yes! you nailed it! While I love to bake, it’s seems to take more effort to enjoy when it’s hot out. But when the weather is cool baking comes alive just like the fiery orange and red leaves that blow in an autumn breeze. I slow down and really take the time to enjoy the delicious therapeutic process that comes with baking. I usually begin my fall baking with chocolate chip pumpkin bread. This Christmas season I’m branching out with my recipes. Oh, how happy I am today! Thank you, Julia, and everyone for sharing your enthusiasm for the fall 🙂

    • Jenelle, thank you – enthusiasm is contagious, and I got excited just reading your comment. Jeff and I have been teased over the years because we are both big eaters, but in our younger days, we were able to avoid the consequences. When we hit middle age, the pounds started rolling on, and I realized I’d have to re-think my entire repertoire of recipes, which were long on fat, sodium and Campbell’s Cream Soups. Rather than ditch our favorites altogether, I simply consigned them to autumn feasts (Thanksgiving and Christmas). Now when the weather turns crispy, not only do I look forward to all the traditional sweets and Chex Mix, I also anticipate cheesy potato casseroles, creamed spinach, Green Beans with almonds, mushroom soup and Durkee onions, and good old Southern cornbread dressing! I hope you have many glorious days in the kitchen, basking in the flour-dusted glory and the scents of yeast rising, vanilla, pumpkin, chocolate…

  5. I guess the best thing is what you elude to in the closing of your post Julia. It refreshes me. I love sleeping with the window open and letting that cool (11-15C) air waft in over the cozy sheets -vs- sleeping on top of all the bedding in front of a fan. Autumn at our lake house was full of chores, cleaning garden tools and beds, bring in piers, servicing boats. I almost feel like I’m on vacation here in the City Condo. So extra nice to be just enjoying the scenery, all be it not as stunning as you enjoy. Happy Fall my friend. xK

    • I think overall, Canada definitely wins in the “most stunning visuals” category. I probably select my photos to make things look better than they really do! Although the beauty of any individual thing — a flower or a sunset or a person — can never really be captured in two dimensions. Still, since I only post flattering photos of myself and my surroundings, I think yours would lend itself to equally gorgeous shots. But thanks for the compliment. And yes, I LOVE those open windows and comfy covers!

      • Only flattering photos? GUILTY, and who doesn’t? We could all post a morning shot, before coffee and makeup and you will see that I too only share the good ones HA. Oh ya! my hair alone would insight roaring laughter…crazy lady looking. 😀

        • Hey, that’s a great idea for a blog post…we could call the “REALLY real housewives of everywhere.” 🙂

          • LOL, We don’t want to make people’s eyes pop out of their heads. Hahaha. 😀

            • Maybe we could put a “scary content advisory” to warn people. You know, “not recommended for male viewers who have never been married” or something like that :-).

              • OMgosh, laughing so hard because yes, marriage takes the mystery out of a number of things. I heard, women used to go to bed with their makeup on in the 50’s. 😀

                • Really?! I seem to remember my mother wearing “cold cream” or some sort of greasy cream on her face at night. No curlers, though. Thank goodness, Jeff had two sisters so there were no surprises for him. As far as I know. 😉

            • Rene

              It is almost Halloween…

              • Hmmm, time to stock up on chocolate candy! I’ll make sure to taste each kind to make sure it’s good before I give it out. 😀 😀 😀 I bought a miniature scarecrow today to put outside.

  6. Sheila

    I think a beach tea party would be simply magnificent! We have weddings, oyster roasts, and the Easter sunrise services are truly spectacular. So, southern sister, we will make it happen! Your very acquaintance makes me happy…

    • Same here, Sheila. I think I may have mentioned to you that my nephew and his family live in Myrtle Beach, so I certainly hope to end up in your area sooner or later. Of all the southern states, the Carolinas remind me most of my home state of Georgia. And of course, y’all ought to come up here sometime too – lots to see in the Old Dominion. Hope you have some more pretty weather tomorrow!

      • Sheila

        We are off to Orlando in the morning…. driving there for a meeting, but will stay in touch!

        • Have fun, and give our greetings to Mickey, Donald and the rest!


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