What the world gives you

This photo was taken just down the street from our York home during autumn, 2008.

This photo was taken just down the street from our York home during autumn, 2008.

“Use what you have, use what the world gives you. Use the first day of fall: bright flame before winter’s deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, warmth itself.”
Shauna Niequist

Today is officially the first day of fall, a season that brings abundant gifts.  All too often, it’s also a season of stress, as we adjust to new school schedules, plan for a host of holiday activities, and fight the psychological dread of another long, cold winter approaching.

At the start of this new season, I am coaching myself to make full use of these September gifts, no matter what other unpleasant or anxious situations may await me in the weeks to come.  As I intentionally savor the small delights that can easily slip by unnoticed, I am calmed and strengthened, able to keep getting up one more time after the disappointments and sorrows that sometimes seem to come one right after another.

You may look forward to the same magical moments Niequist describes in the quote, or you may have other autumnal treats in store.  Whatever good things the world gives you, I hope you will make use of every joy that comes your way. I hope the sights, scents and sounds of fall will bless you with a cozy comfort that wraps you in its blissful warmth and reassures your soul that no matter what happens, all will be well.

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good morning, Julia! My kitchen is currently recovering (i.e. still needs a little more cleaning) from my attempts to can and make jelly. The aromas are so lovely and cozy! My home seems homiest when these smells linger.
    I hope you are enjoying your home and making new traditions to celebrate the seasons.

    • WOW, that sounds lovely — I can almost smell it! So far no new traditions for me; I’m still working on learning to live without the ones I treasured for so long, that now have no real purpose. But I do enjoy my homes and I’m gradually shifting most of my “home” focus to northern Virginia, foreign as it still seems to me.

  2. Mike C

    Did you ever get up to Burts farm outside of Amicalola falls?. we stopped by last week and this post reminds me of them. When you go in -if you desire- they give you a wheel barrow.
    They have pumpkins up to 60 lbs, and all kinds of squash and fall fruits and some colorful Indian corn and decorations etc. And they make wonderful pumpkin bread- deelicious. Some people had overflowing wheelbarrows. Lots of fun for kids and families.
    Last week Verie made the 605 stairs to the top of the stairs. Idid 225 and then walked the Laurel trail back down to the base of the falls. The Laurel trail is named after the Mountain laurel and I have never seen so many in one place. We will have to go back in May as this is my favorite Georgia botanical beauty.

    • No, never did. As I’ve said before, I think you’ve seen more of Georgia in a year or two than I saw my entire childhood. Burt’s Farm sounds like fun, though. I’d love to see those mountain laurels! Even though there’s so much I haven’t seen, I do have memories of Georgia as a beautiful state.

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