A mosaic

Autumn decorates our neighbor’s home, York County, September 2011.

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” —Stanley Horowitz

This quote captures the appeal of the year-end visual landscape, as dark lines edge and define the deepening colors, and the waning sunlight washes over everything with the impressionism of a watercolor. Autumn is a mosaic of the seasons in other ways, too. The first chilly days evoke the coziness of winter; the energizing beginnings of a new school year mimic the freshness of springtime, and the remaining days of warm sunlight lure us outdoors to enjoy a final taste of summer before freezing temperatures set in.

This blog was begun nearly five years ago in a fog of sorrow that hit during the fall, and each successive autumn since then has brought loss and worry and sadness. Yet despite the grief, nothing can taint the beauty of this season for me. The natural world passes into death or hibernation in splendid fashion, hinting of glory to come. Perhaps in the loveliness of autumn, our souls overhear a promise spoken in language our minds cannot fully comprehend. May we rejoice in the music even when the words lie just outside our grasp.


  1. Bobby Harris

    Be careful–you are turning into a poet.

    • Wow, I hope so! But something tells me I have a long way to go. πŸ™‚

  2. Good morning, Julia! I totally agree with the parallels!
    Many of us who live in the north lands feel that we could etch winter quite accurately – with just a blank piece of white paper. No etching involved! (No, that isn’t a polar bear in a blizzard, we don’t have polar bears around here … at least as far as I know … it’s hard to see in this storm!)
    Yesterday I went for a hike at the sculpture trails at http://andresinstitute.org. I do believe that every medium was in full use, especially as it rained / misted from time to time, muting Vistas.
    I hope that you have a scrumptious, colorful day!

    • Hi Susan, thanks for sharing the link to the Andres Institute. What a great idea to have a sculpture trail! In good weather, anyway. If I was a sculptor creating a work for the trail, I’d be tempted to make something that could double as a brief spot of shelter in a downpour or sudden snowstorm. πŸ™‚ I really can’t imagine a TRULY snowy climate. The closest we ever knew was in Dayton, Ohio, where I found the snow delightful at first– but I remember being really tired of not seeing any grass, green or brown, for so long. I got tired of it being covered with snow for weeks on end. Most winters there weren’t that hard, though, and we had a few thaws in between snowfalls. Still, it would be fun to enjoy a cozy winter weekend or two in the north, assuming getting there would be possible and not too risky.

      • It’s always sketchy to plan winter travel to destinations that typically have a lot of snow fall. πŸ™‚

        • Yes, even if you can get a flight that doesn’t cancel, there’s still the matter of getting to and from the airport! I guess the safest thing would be to plan an extended (weeks-long) stay in a northern locale, if one absolutely wanted to experience a TRUE winter. Maybe I’ll do that sometime before I die.

  3. Linda Blackford

    I’ve always loved the fall, Julia! Maybe this explains it. Anytime of year when we have experienced loss is tinted by that, probably for the rest of our lives. Thinking of you this time of year, especially. For me, it’s springtime and Holy Week, since that is when my preacher husband left this world, making it a bittersweet time for me.

    • Oh Linda, that must have been so hard. Such sorrow at what is typically a time of new life and hope. Yet the Easter story is full of suffering as well. I hope each spring brings you increased solace as the earth itself reminds us of the promised happy ending.

  4. Hello Julia, how are you. I realized that I have been following your blog for quite some time since its inception, but have been on a hiatus from writing for some time now.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and stories of hope and renewal. Your post “A Mosaic” is a beautiful description on the seasons of our lives and how God interweaves our life stories to paint a beautiful picture. There may be times of pain, sorrow and loss, but such painful seasons do not last forever, and we are strengthen by the nature of the changing seasons — which uniquely brings special blessings of hope, grace and fortitude.

    “This, too, shall pass.” The adage goes and the ebbs and flows of life bring renewal and hope for a brand new day — filled with endless opportunities for growth and advancement.

    Please continue sharing your writings and thoughts with your fellow reader. We indeed appreciate the beauty and nature that you bring.

    Wishing you always continued success in all your works and writing endeavors. Your dreams renewed and hope spring anew!

    Love & Blessings, Brendaline πŸ™‚

    • Thank you, Brendaline, for this thoughtful comment. I am so happy that you enjoy the blog. It is encouraging to know that others care and support my efforts to share my thoughts on this journey. Thanks for being here!

      • You are quite welcomed, dear Julia. I appreciate a good read and reflections, and your blog post offer that by way of reflections and inspiration. Do keep sharing your thoughts, feelings, and introspections with the world. I appreciate it — I appreciate YOU!! Have a great Thanksgiving 2017 with the ones you love, and be blessed always! Your fellow blogger, Brendaline πŸ™‚

        • Thank you, Brendaline. I appreciate your encouragement and presence here. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

  5. Thank you for sharing you warmest thoughts and writings here. They are indeed beautiful. May you be blessed and continue in the journey of your creative writing projects and renewal. Hope springs anew and many blessings by yours.

    • Thank you, Brendaline. I’m so happy you like the blog. Often I feel as if I am writing to myself, because I need constant reminders to open my eyes to the blessings that too often are lost in the challenges. Hope you are having a wonderful autumn! I appreciate your presence here, and your encouragement!

      • You are quite welcomed, Julia. I am enjoying this warm and occasional cold fronts we are having here in sunny South Florida (hope we get some cold, crisp weather in time for Thanksgiving). I love the holidays and wish you the best of happiness and inspiration in the coming holidays! Take good care and good health be yours. πŸ™‚

        • Brendaline, I too hope that you get some refreshingly crisp days to enhance your holiday. Cool AND sunny can’t be beat! Wishing you all the best for this holiday season and beyond. Thanks for being here.

          • Likewise, Julia. A warm and wonderful Christmas with the ones you love be yours! Take good care.

            • Thank you, Brendaline. Hope 2018 will be a great year for you!

              • Our upcoming 2018 will be a great year for us!! I decree and declare it is more impactful, favorable, optimistic, loving and bright. It will be a great year for us as creative writers and thinkers, dear Julia.

                • Brendaline, somehow when I read your inspiring words, I can believe it! Thank you for cheering us on. I will keep your words in mind when I am feeling low. ❀

  6. Amy Hill

    It is beautiful and I am glad to finally feel some cool weather. What a beautiful photo of your neighbors yard. Our yard is full of leaves just in the last two days. I hope you and I can get out and do some leaf peeping before October slides away.

    • Yes, let’s do! This ought to be a perfect time for the book fair. I can’t wait. ❀

  7. Harry Sims

    “Cast your nets into the deep”.


    • Will do, Harry. I just hope I’m not pulled overboard- I’m not a good swimmer. πŸ™‚

  8. Sheila

    Julia, this time of year is to be enjoyed, although usually cooler. πŸπŸ‚ I’ve enjoyed reading the related posts and from there more related posts. πŸ€” I’m easily distracted! We have been monitoring our beach renourishing project for weeks now and it’s almost complete. It’s a huge operation of pumping sand back onto the beach from offshore. Bill walked Jack on the beach this morning to get a closer look. 🌊 Both enjoyed! Hi to Matt! πŸ‘‹πŸ»

    • Sheila, I have wondered how your part of the coast fared through the storms. Did you end up evacuating, or staying put? I didn’t realize they pumped sand back onto beaches. I guess living so near the ocean is one fascinating lesson after another. This is a lovely time of year, just right for tea lovers! Cool enough to enjoy a hot cup, but still warm enough to be outdoors without shivering. Have a great weekend!

  9. Julia, with the anniversary of Jeff’s passing and birthdays just ahead, this must be a particularly challenging time for you. It’s lovely to see your gorgeous home, trees ablaze in oranges and reds. Arms around you.

    • Thank you, Alys. I so enjoyed your letter. Did you get the notes I sent via snail mail? I also sent you a couple of e-cards for your birthday, but I’m not sure you got them. Hope you had a lovely day.

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