A festival season

Halloween New England by -jkb- CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Halloween New England by -jkb- (CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

Just after the death of the flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season,
When nature is all aglow—
Aglow with a mystical splendour
That rivals the brightness of spring,
Aglow with a beauty more tender
Than aught which fair summer could bring….

(attributed to Emeline B. Smith, about whom I could find no biographical information)

If you are lucky enough to have kids in your life, you probably have plenty of festivity awaiting you this weekend.  Even without trick-or-treating, however, it’s easy to get into the spirit of autumn.  Just look at those gorgeous pumpkins and chrysanthemums, glowing with a colorful harmony that suggests they were created to go together.

There are lots of phrases that memorably describe this season, but “aglow with a mystical splendour”* seems as perfectly apt as any I’ve heard.  I hope this finds you enjoying a cheery lightness of heart “that rivals the brightness of spring.”


*I left the spelling just as I found it.  Emeline Smith must not have been from the USA.  Wish I knew more about her…


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    The “all aglow” has seemed almost magical this year. The foliage has been so bright that I’ve had to double-take out my windows to see if the sun had come out on cloudy days – the yellow and gold light had fooled me. It’s almost as if the leaves themselves were emitting light rather than merely reflecting. Other folks here have made similar comments. It’s just incredible! A season so rich I can taste it with my eyes!

    • Susan, I’m so glad you are in midst of “full splendor mode” — we are getting pretty colorful here. Though not quite at peak levels, it’s already prettier than last year, I think. Don’t you just love the way the sun lights up the leaves? Sometimes I will take a photo of the same tree from 4 or 5 different angles because the colors are so different depending on how the sun strikes. I’ve never been able to capture that electric look, though. It’s something that can’t fit into a two-dimensional representation. As George Eliot said — “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it…”

  2. I hope you are having a wonderFall season! 😉

    • Thank you, the same to you! It has been a bittersweet time, all of us missing Daddy, but still putting one foot in front of the other, and finding many reasons to feel joy. One of which is that our second grand-baby is due in May, which Drew and Megan learned on the day Daddy died, but only just recently told us. The losses are always with us, but so are the gifts.

      • You’re welcome. Thank you, too. That’s blessed timing for them to find out about the new baby that day! And yes, the gifts outweigh the losses, I think. 🙂

        • ❤ 🙂 ❤

  3. That does look festive! Loved the poem. You are correct, it’s hard to find information on her. I looked. All I could find was a book of poetry by Emeline Sherman Smith in the UK. Women writers were pretty much ignored.

    • Marlene, keep reading on in these comments…Harry has sent us an amazing cyber-gift to enjoy, one he found while looking for Emeline Smith. These treasure hunts are such fun!

  4. HarryS

    As I was searching the web for information on Ms. Smith this is what I came across.
    Thank the Lord for cyber serendipity.
    I think I’ll try a search on “Indian summer”.

    • WOW Harry, this is stunning! I just hurried through it but as soon as I post this, I’ll go back and see it again. Thank you so much for sharing it! Those photos capture a perfect fall fantasy with so many of the creatures we know and love. BEAUTIFUL!!! Thanks again for some great detective work!

  5. Julia, there are so many happenings this time of year, maybe it’s the invigorating cooler temps that really prompt us to ENJOY! As I turned my calendar to another verandah, I wondered if you felt the same as I, as though October passed so quickly.Our daughter, Ashley, and family returned to their home in Conway this evening, having been our next door neighbors in Garden City for 4 weeks. Although we were all glad the river has receded, repairs to their home have been made, they’ll get their dogs home tomorrow, being thankful for numerous blessings, we hugged and cried. We really cried! Later tonight, I noticed that they left the porch light on at the beach house they’ve stayed in. I know they did that for me, knowing I’d glance over there before I go to bed. It’s a warm light. Thank you for “listening” my friend! 😢 Love, Sheila

    • Sheila, my heart really goes out to you as you had to say a bittersweet farewell to your family. How fun it must have been to have them next door! Here’s hoping that they will visit more often in the future after having been there for an extended time. I love that detail about the porch light. Hope your memories of their time with you will continue to light up your autumn.

  6. Thanks for the beautiful pic, Julia. It surely depicts autumn in its various splendors.

    • Thank you, Alan. Autumn is definitely a “many-splendored thing.”

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