Such a beautiful day

Just another glorious fall day at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, October 2003

Just another glorious fall day at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, October 2003

“I cried at first…..and then, it was such a beautiful day, that I forgot to be unhappy.”Frances Noyes Hart

Have you ever walked outside in a gloomy mood, and been overtaken by the sheer beauty of the day? It’s happened to me many times, and the feeling of relief and joy that floods over me is no less than when a physical pain is eased.  Most often it happens on one of those gloriously sunny days when the temperature is comfortable and there is the faintest breeze to keep me cool as I walk.  But sometimes it’s a winter day when the sun is reflected blindingly bright from the snow, or even a rainy day when the drizzle makes a soothing sound that complements the thirsty earth’s refreshment.

Perhaps no season is as full of such days as autumn.  During our years in California, on both the central coast and the northern bay area, October was the warmest time of year, sunny every single day.  Here on the east coast, autumn is even more glorious, with vivid fall foliage that takes my breath away no matter how often I see it.

If you are beset with sorrow or gloom right now, I hope you will soon enjoy some of those glorious fall days that help you forget to be unhappy.  I’m looking forward to them; the kind of days when simply walking outdoors is like getting a big divine hug that says “Everything is going to be alright in the end.”


  1. Very Nice post. Interesting.

    • Thank you! I’m so happy you enjoyed it.

  2. Bobby Harris

    I am ever amazed at God’s extravagance. There is a scientific explanation for why we need the green leaves but not for the blazing colors of fall. Color seems to be one of His delights–fall leaves, flowers of every hue, little brown birds and red, and gold, and blue. He even made the very destructive emerald ash borer a beautiful color. And then there is the sky…What an awesome God we serve! And to realize He cares about us is overwhelming.

    Praying for you, knowing that our loving Father is at work in your circumstances.

    • Thanks Bobby! We really need and appreciate the prayers. The diversity of creation has always amazed me. I have come to see God as the great master artist, and don’t think our world could possibly have been accidental. One of my favorite verses is Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Thanks for being here and for sharing your delight in creation with us.

  3. Carolyn

    Today will be a wonderful day, the sun is out and right now you could use a sweater. Yesterday was one of those days you just stayed inside. Rain, which was needed, about all day, no storms just a gentle rain. I know some of my flowers were saying thank you. I love autumn and things are starting to turn and crops are ready. We saw cotton that what opened the other day. I remember in Va., when Jennifer’s family lived there how beautiful the trees were. Wish they could move up there again. That’s about it for now. I hope that you all have a great week end. Love to all.

    • Carolyn, it looks to be a beautiful day here too, though rain is predicted later. You mentioned cotton – recently when Jeff and I drove to the Outer Banks, we passed a cotton field just over the NC state line – I could not remember the last time I saw a field of cotton bolls opening up. I had him stop the car and I got out and made photos (look for one here soon) and remembered a funny story about cotton bolls that I will probably tell here. I swiped a tiny one (not big enough to cost the farmer anything :-)) and plan to make a Christmas ornament out of it. Every little thing about the world amazes me. Cotton is a wonder! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Love to you and Terry.

  4. Dear Julia,
    For some people, glorious fall days are just “icing on the cake”. For others, they are like a life-giving drink of cool water, after thirsting days in a hot desert.
    I praise you for saying what you say here.

    • Thank you, Eric. Today has been rough and I really needed to hear that. Perhaps I will be able to take a walk tonight and drink in some of that life-giving refreshment!

  5. MaryAnn

    Fall is my FAVORITE season! I will go outdoors now to get my “divine hug” & bask in your last sentence! You are delightful, adding joy to others as you live your life for Jesus!
    I love you…

    • Thank you, Mary Ann! I’m in need of one of those divine hugs myself today. While I’m out walking this evening (if I get to go – rain is predicted) I will think of you and it will bring a smile to my face! I love you too!!

      • MaryAnn

        As I was leaving to walk, there was a slight drizzle, so I wore appropriate clothing. In a few short blocks, a deluge arrived. I was thrilled to be in the downpour, praising God remembering times when my children & grandchildren splashed puddles on purpose!
        Years ago, when one of the grandchildren’s cousins on the mom’s side was here to visit, I told him to put on clothes & shoes that would not get harmed by getting wet. I said we were going to splash in the rain. As he was only 7 & lived in New York, he looked at me as if to say “Crazy woman”. He of course, had a blast like the rest of us & on next visit called when it rained wanting more splashing.

        • Mary Ann, you are wonderful to play outside in the rain, especially with children. In CA we need never worry about getting to cold if we get wet (unless we head into one of the overly air-conditioned buildings that are FREEZING). I remember in my early childhood I loved to play in the rain. Our next door neighbors had a huge clamshell beneath their downspout — a real one, I think; they were from Boston — and I loved seeing the water gush into that clamshell, playing in the mud and squishing my toes in it. Somewhere along the line, that love of being out in the rain faded in my adolescent dismay over my frizzy hair, for which I was often ridiculed. But I love being indoors and hearing the rain pound on the roof. In my garret, where the ceiling is not finished, it sounds lovely, a perfect retreat. Maybe as I age I’ll get back to loving to be in the rain again. Thanks for the memory!

  6. “Do not cry because it is over. Smile because it happened” – Dr. Seuss!
    Just had to share this newly discovered quote with you. I am so sorry today has been rough. You, Jeff and Matt continue in our prayers. Love you all so very much.

    • Thanks, Carla. That Dr. Seuss quote is a good “in a nutshell” summary of how I’m dealing with missing Pasha. When I come across a photo, an old toy of his, or just everyday things (like when I open a carton of Greek yogurt and remember how he used to love to lick the Yogurt off the aluminum lid) and feel sad, I just think how lucky we were to have him for 16+ years, all of which were wonderful. Thanks for your prayers, and please keep them coming!

  7. I love fall here on the east coast but I must admit I can ruin it for myself thinking about the coming winter and worried if we are ready or not. Silly me. Come and see me, we’ll drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy the fall together. Love you.

    • Hey, I heard there was a super good book fair out that way 🙂 where even if you don’t plan to buy anything, you will come home with a box full! We will have to plan some fun days, just let me know your schedule. Love you too!

  8. Sheila

    Julia, I’m sure that when you chose this post for today you weren’t sure how your day might be going. I pray that you will read your very own words and they will make YOU “forget to be unhappy”. What a wonderful blog you have given to us today. I read it to Bill as we drove back home today. It was a nice highlight to our trip! I so hope tomorrow is a better day, my friend. Love, Sheila

    • Thank you, Sheila! These posts are written and scheduled about two weeks in advance, give or take a day or two, and they generally reflect my mood the day I write them – but it’s surprising how often they do match what is going on. Sometimes I “pre-empt” a scheduled post if there is something newsworthy (such as GRADY :-)). I did have a lovely walk this evening and while it was not the euphoric type I wrote about (it drizzled on me just a bit, not enough to get me soaking and miserable) it is ALWAYS therapeutic. For one thing, I see so many cute doggies and friendly neighbors! Thanks for being my online neighbor! I so much appreciate your sunny notes and kind wishes!

      • Sheila

        I’m so glad that I came back and read your comment about Pasha. The Dr. Suess comment really is fitting for dealing with the sadness and emptiness when our “beloved best friends”, our pets, are gone. I miss Salty so much! Do you think Pasha and Salty are having a yogurt together tonight? I’m smiling…..

        • Yep, and they can now eat all they want! 🙂 Thanks for understanding, my friend!

  9. It’s really funny, I find Nature seems to know what to give you when you need it most. Maybe it’s just how an optimist interprets it. Like when I’m really behind in the house, I’ll get a rainy day. Or, when I miss a friend who works not to far away, I’ll get a sunny day to walk and meet her for lunch. I think you’re optimist too Julia. I should NEVER complain about a single thing knowing how much is on your plate. I guess maybe Optimist/Pragmatist might be a closer description. A balance in some fashion of both can get me thru most things. Just doing what needs doing, the best way one can, with a winning attitude if possible. It never hurts to be accompanied by the beauty of nature and your photo is just glorious ! Love all those flowers set against the pristine white of the dome. Cheers to us!

    • Cheers to us indeed! I think optimism is a very pragmatic quality when it’s tempered by full realization of the situation and what’s at stake. I’ve always believed it’s possible to see quite clearly through rose-colored glasses! I do agree that we are blessed with what we need most if we keep our eyes open. Thomas Jefferson supposedly said “the harder I work, the more luck I have.” (I’m not sure if the attribution is correct but I saw that in a museum recently.) I think it’s a bit like that with optimism. We do tend to find what we look for. Thanks for being in the fellowship of happy pragmatists!

  10. Hi Julia,
    My dear friend Ellis Anderson sent me your blog with the comment “I don’t know why I didn’t think to send this to you before.” I live on the Gulf Coast but have been in Northern California since June, taking care of my brother who has a Stage 4 hypopharyngeal cancer. Being positive and keeping our sense of humor is getting both of us through this!
    Thanks for adding to my day.
    Julie Nelson

    • Hi Julie, I am delighted to meet you here, thanks for stopping by! We lived in California for 8 1/2 years, five of which were in Vacaville. I came to love northern California so much. I’m sorry that you are there in sad and stressful circumstances, but I hope you will find some solace in the weather and beauty of the state. Rainy season will come soon there! Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment. I hope you will visit us often.


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