Autumnal sunshine

Gather the golden moments of autumn, with a camera or just in memories. Yorktown, 2008

Gather the golden moments of autumn, with a camera or just in memories. Yorktown, 2008

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” Nathaniel Hawthorne

“In autumn, don’t go to jewelers to see gold; go to the parks!” Mehmet Murat ildan

As our President would say, let me be clear.  Yesterday’s post was about rainy weather.  On a gloriously bright fall day, we simply MUST find the time to go outdoors for at least a little while.  No other time of year features the combination of visual opulence, agreeable temperatures, and sunshine that electrifies the foliage and flowers.  Spring’s loveliest weather tends to come before the trees are at their fullest or flowers are at peak bloom. In the fall, before the leaves drop and the flowers fade away, there is a rich abundance suggestive of the festivities to come.

Let’s heed the words of two writers who come from very different locations and eras.  As their tributes to autumn suggest, some pleasures are universal and unchanging.  If you have any fine weather this week, don’t let it go to waste!  Go out and gather beautiful images, scents and sounds to treasure through the winter.


  1. The shades reminded me of our national flag (Indian). What a lovely scene! No wonder writers and admirers of nature have time and again expressed their ardent desire to be born again on this very same planet. Your words very well express how passionately you have fallen in love with Nature.

    • Thank you, Bindu. I know my words will never do justice to things not created by humans, but I am happy that others share my enjoyment of what is divinely beautiful. I believe that this world, with all its imperfections and sorrows, tells us of a great Creator who has even more glorious plans for us in heaven. Thus the Christian belief that we are spiritually “born again” into a new kingdom that will be perfect. For us, this new kingdom is a spiritual one, not a different version of this present earth, but we do get “previews” of it here when we see the handiwork of God, or the love of God expressed through the loving actions of other people. Because our new birth happens here on earth, eternity begins here with our soul’s growth and maturity, and is thus linked to heaven for those who are “born again” by baptism into God’s spiritual kingdom. For me, when I see something beautiful in the world, it is like a marker or a signpost that reminds me of an indescribably wonderful final destination.

      Also, your comment reminded me of a very funny quote by Woody Allen: “Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering – and it’s all over much too soon.” We can laugh at such things, but I think the quote hits home because, as hard as life is, it is also beautiful and hardly any of us choose to give it up! Thanks so much for being here! I love your thoughtful comments. And yes, that photo does capture the colors of your flag – I had not noticed that; thanks for pointing it out!

  2. HarryS

    We are instructed to be aggressive listeners.
    Out of this active beginning grows the attitude of awareness which leads to all kinds of discoveries of our perception both real and imagined.
    We also enlightened that imagination is often the doorway into spiritual discovery.
    I believe that! 😉
    I honor the aorist tense I discover in the Greek language (a verb tense used to express a past action in an unqualified way, without specifying whether that action was repeated, continuing, or completed or how long it lasted, found especially in classical Greek), which generally means something which is occurring, has always occurred and continues to occur.
    Sounds like God to me.

    • Harry, yes it does! In fact, there was a recent discussion in the comments here about the relativity of time, and how in one sense, everything is happening simultaneously. When I was very young my father explained it to me by drawing a timeline that began with ancient history and went up to the present. We are all living on that timeline at various points, and able to see it only in a linear, sequential way – but God, who looks down on the timeline, sees the entire thing at once, as well as the infinite context in which that sequence occurs. I may not be describing it very well but perhaps you will see how this helped me to understand how God could be “above” time and not limited to our three (or four) dimensions.

      Re: being an aggressive listener- perhaps this is similar to my practice of being an interactive listener. When I was first growing more comfortable with public speaking as part of my undergraduate degree in communications, I noticed right away that when people in the audience responded to what I was saying by nods, smiles, eye contact, laughter and sometimes even verbal responses, it made me much more at ease and able to connect as I spoke. Since then, I make it a practice to listen to speakers interactively, and I have done so face to face with everyone from a small child to the President of the United States. It not only facilitates a personal connection with the speaker, but also helps me to stay focused on what is being said.

  3. Ann

    What a beautiful photograph! Julia, you really are very talented at so many things.

    The weather in South Carolina is glorious. The air is cool and crisp, low humidity, and the sun is bright but not hot. The tea olives are in bloom and give the air a wonderful fragrance.

    • Hi Ann, thanks so much for your kind words! Your weather sounds so lovely. Just perfect. Speaking of tea olives – my husband and I planted three of them almost 10 years ago, on the edge of our wooded lot near the creek, where they got a mixture of sun and shade. Sadly, they never did very well. Two are dead now and one is just barely hanging on, scraggly and smaller than when we planted it. I’m not sure what we did wrong but I’ve learned that sometimes plants just don’t do well in a certain spot. We have moved azaleas from one spot to another very close by, and had them do much better in the new spot. It must have something to do with sun exposure.

  4. Since retiring to Florida three years ago, I schedule my “outside time..” During the heat of the summer months, I rise each morning at 5:00 a.m. and sit “quietly” in the “dark” listening to the birds, meditative music, and my inner thoughts. Cooler weather is on the way. When it arrives, I will schedule a different time. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Your summer schedule sounds great. I’m not an early riser, but I’ve learned to see an occasional bout of insomnia as a gift. If I wake up in the wee hours and can’t go back to sleep, I get up and walk just after daybreak. Every time I do this, I tell myself “You have GOT to make this a habit!” But of course, I never have. However, I keep trying! Next attempt: TOMORROW MORNING! Thanks for giving me just the boost I need to get it done tomorrow – now I am accountable to everyone who reads this comment :-). As you say, the changing seasons will give me a break and let me rise a bit later if I am able to keep this up.

  5. MaryAnn

    A short time ago, I wished that I had the ability that you share with us through your camera.
    The light was shining on the leaves of a tree, after a bit of rain. The leaves looked like they were adorned w/ DIAMONDS! I ran outside to drink in all that beauty before the sun moved.
    It feels almost impossible to describe. Just know that at that moment I was praising God & thanking Him for Julia! You have shown me & reminded me to appreciate our Creator & His creation! I love you & pray for “my” Dentons.

    • Mary Ann, you may not have captured that moment with a digital camera, but you captured it in your mind, and just shared it with us! We appreciate your steadfast love & prayers!

  6. Hello from Sunny California my friend. We’re having such a good visit, gathering hugs and memories that have to sustain us till next summer probably. We don’t want to miss a single moment but you have to sleep sometime, LOL. I think looks absolutely stunning. Is that Pampas Grass naturally growing there or part of an amazing planned garden? Love your photo and the quotes too.

    • Hi Boomdee, wish I was there! Did you take Alyster again this time, or did he stay home with Mr. B? I’m sure he’s kicking up his heels either way! Is California not gorgeous in October?! The Pampas Grass in our neighborhood was probably planted by landscapers since they also did the medians and the public areas I’ve shown in other photographs. However, I do see it growing wild a lot of places here on the coast. When I was a very young child (maybe first or second grade?) our teacher read aloud to us each day from a chapter book about an elephant — I think his name was Sonny — who lived in the “tall Pampas Grass” with his mother. It was a wonderful book. At the time, I had no idea what Pampas Grass was. But when I first saw it I LOVED it! It seems designed to catch the sun. I still think of that little elephant when I see it :-). Have fun!

      • Dearest Julia, what a sweet sentiment about Pampas Grass, thanks for sharing that. It would be a nice place to live in a story book.

        Alyster isn’t along this trip 😦 he’s at home reno’ing his kingdom. Maybe next time. It’s gorgeous here and the sunshine makes it even better but just time with Alys is a dream. I wish you could join us for tea and hayrides. We’d all have such a good visit. xK

        • I am there with you in spirit! Have a great time!

  7. Sheila

    Julia, what a beautiful bouquet autumn gives us to gather! The comments here have been a wonderful addition to your beautiful photograph. Monday dealt me a “cold” but it will make me appreciate feeling good in a few days. I think some sunshine and chicken soup will be perfect today.

    • Sounds great! One thing I love about the autumn is that it brings back soup weather. Jeff has never liked soup much so I traditionally have always cooked chili at home (another of my favorites) and eaten soup when we go out to eat. But since he’s been sick from chemo and radiation, he eats it more. I’m looking forward to soup season. AND wishing you a bit of warmer, sunnier weather before winter sets in to stay for awhile.


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