Photos by Hamlin Grange
“In the midst of it all, however, we keep giving thanks. I keep reminding myself that there is no perfect moment in life when all our problems are solved forever. So, let us seek out our blessings wherever they are, whenever they come, and be grateful for them.” (Cynthia, in a note to a friend.)
Autumn is bittersweet.
It’s the most gorgeous season of my year — its colours so brilliant, they glow.
But Autumn also brings a warning. Of the freezing cold of December, January, February and March.
My meditation coach would remind me to live “in the moment”. St. Paul’s writings declare that worry solves nothing; the key is to find contentment in your present situation.
Will I ever get used to Autumn, in all its fleeting beauty? Or is its brevity key to its glory?
Decades of witnessing Autumn and I am still in awe of it. Every year.
It is, I know, a gradual arrival; colours brighten and deepen on apples, wild berries, shrubs, trees and vines.
And yet, there is always a day in October when it catches me by surprise. Every year.
Suddenly it’s Autumn, arrived fully dressed.
I catch myself holding my breath…. because there are still sights like this, moments like this, that take one’s breath away.
How can it possibly be this beautiful? I wonder. That same question, every year.
I wish it could last a bit longer. The resplendence of it, the blazing glory of it, the time before strong winds and heavy rains strip the leaves from trees and leave them naked.
I wonder: without the leaves that clothe them, do trees shiver in the cold? Do they regret the passing of their most beautiful season? Or do they give thanks for the respite of winter? For the leaves that, having fallen, will now plenish the soil around their roots?
But there I go again.
So I return to the now. The wonder and splendour of now.
I give thanks for the gifts of this particular autumn. The passing parade of colours outside, the constant love of my family inside.
The steadying hand of my husband; the care and kindness of my daughters, sons-in-law, and siblings during challenging times. These are love’s own true colours.
This Autumn, there’s also Myrtle the Purple Turtle, published 28 years after it was written as a bedtime story. Our family feels doubly blessed that Myrtle is touching other lives.
Life goes through its seasons, yes. Some days are a trial, yes. But:
Let us seek out our blessings wherever they are, whenever they come, and be grateful for them.
Dedicated to my family.
85 thoughts on “Autumn Blessings”
“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”
J.K. Rowling got it right, MihranK. Thanks for sharing this beautiful quote.
you have a classical, impressive presentation in your post!!
Beautifully done. I wonder whether your leg is still troubling you?
Thank you, Derrick. And thanks for asking about my leg. I’m still shuffling along, but thank goodness my broken “good leg” is healing. I’ve accepted that the right leg – the one originally injured– may never improve. I think it would have already. I’m learning to accept the challenges along with the blessings in my life and not make a fuss, but I occasionally utter a swear word when the pain gets too bad (smile). I did as recently as last evening!!!
This is a wonder-filled post that certainly made my morning. Thanks for sharing this! 😁
Thank you, Susan. As a writer, you’ll recognize this: you write a thing slowly, bit by bit, till you are happy with it, realizing that the pictures will tell the story as well or better than the words, and then you finally decide it’s time to share it now. (smile)
Absolutely, Cynthia! 🙂
Stunning photos, Cynthia. Thanks so much for brightening my day.
Thank you, Jill, and I’m glad they brightened your day. You brightened my day this morning, when I read news of your new book! Congrats, Jill!
Beautiful in every way. When I lived up north, I looked forward to the coming of each season. I found it exciting , but maybe that was youth. It took me many years to appreciate the subtle changes of the season here. We are hitting a record high of 90 this weekend, but some leaves are falling! PS I love to see snow photos, no one seems to post them.
OK, alright, I will post snow pictures when the white stuff arrives. Meanwhile, it snowed in the warm areas of Vancouver and Seattle this week. I can appreciate your comment about the subtler changes of season. In Jamaica, I only remember mango season, start apple season, and other seasons related to fruit!
That is funny about Jamaica. I could never figure out vegetable growing here. Up north a frost comes and you know you are done. I just started my lettuces. I had to wait until it was cold enough, as in below 80 degrees at night. Looking forward to snow photos!
These images just take your breath away.. And you are so right.. we are So so blessed, we only have to look around to see them. 🙂
Thanks very much for your gracious reply, Sue.
Ahh…a beautiful tribute to your family and heartwarming photos and words for us all to enjoy. Hugs xx
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Annika. Do the leaves there change colour at this time of year? I forget!
Oh yes, they do! It is beautiful- just last year the display was stunning, this year it has been over a longer period of time so no sudden burst of autumn golds, reds, glowing oranges.
Wow Cynthia, it’s as if you put into words what I feel every Autumn. I love summer. Each year, I’m sad when it ends. But just like you, each year, I am surprised by the colors of Autumn. And my camera goes click click click. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and the beautiful pictures. Thank you for reminding me to be grateful and content with what i have which it’s a lot.
You are most welcome, Mithriluna, and I am glad that you have visited my blog and enjoyed this post. I hope you and the family are all doing well.
Gorgeous photos and heartfelt prose is a great way to start the day. Thank you. It’s my favorite time of year.
Ah! A woman after my own heart!
Loved this post. There is music and poetry in your ode to Autumn. Thank you.
I love how you phrased that, Paula. Thank you!
What a beautiful tribute to autumn, blessings, family, and gratitude! May we remember to count our blessings along the way. Thank you Cynthia and Hamlin! 🙂
And thank you for this lovely response, Brad! I was at the Festival of the arts and then several appointments today, so I am just catching up with my favourite blogs. Catch you later!
I hope you had a great time at the Festival.
That is a very beautiful passage from your note to a friend! And such lovely photographs of autumn’s finery. Thank you, Cynthia, Hamlin and family!
Autumn may be bittersweet followed by winter’s dark and cold, but if it were not so, how could we ever really appreciate May?
Excellent point, Lavinia. And ’tis true indeed.
Thanks for your response. Are the grapes all crushed by now? I forget.
Like you I am caught anew in wonder every year at the arrival of Spring – for that is my present season and the one that takes my breath away year after year. Autumn is less dramatic here in the land of evergreen trees – the changes are there, but very subtle. Green is interspersed with dots – or sometimes avenues – of exotics imported from other lands, that share their fiery autumnal glory. Though there is much to be enjoyed in every season I think. Lovely words urging us to count our blessings wherever we are – for there they are, just waiting within, waiting to be released, waiting to be acknowledged, waiting to be enjoyed, any day, every day.
Oh, so vividly described, my friend: “Green is interspersed with dots — or sometimes avenues — of exotics… that share their fiery autumnal glory.” Yes, there is much to be enjoyed in every season.
A beautiful post Cynthia, both words and photos.
Thank you, Karina. I hope you had a lovely weekend.
Beautiful, inspirational post. Lovely, Cynthia. 🙂
I’m just trying to catch up with you, my poet-friend! Thanks for the response.
Beautiful, in many ways!
Thank you. As for ‘beautiful’ — do you ever think of framing some of your gorgeous photos, like the one I mentioned in your recent post?
You’re welcome Cynthia, and thank you.
I used to sell photos and found that it was really a lot of work so no, I don’t do more with them than show them on the blog.
I have sold quite a few right off the blog though, which is always a surprise.
We had a sputtering of Autumn with lots of green filtering out the touches of red to yellow. Then a week ago Tuesday, the whole forest turned for a colorful splash before winter. Our blessing was that we harvested tomatoes up to the first day of November this year! Time to enjoy the preserved harvest for the next six months. – Oscar
Oh, that sounds glorious, Oscar. Glad you had tomatoes so late in the year. We harvested and roasted our tomatoes earlier, but the red peppers were roasted and preserved just a few weeks ago.
Looking at the forecast, we may have 20F nights this weekend. Time to empty the potted plants from the deck before the soil freezes in them.
Yes! We just realized we have some out there still!
Lovely photos ! I think the Maples are snuggled in for a blissful rest after producing a blazing finale.
I really like that idea of the maples “snuggled in for a blissful rest”!
Winter in Canada?
Hey – would you believe that Vancouver and Seattle got snow ahead of us here in Ontario this November? I don’t mind at all! (tee hee…)
No, probably the Atlantic storm season blew it west! Enjoy.
Yes, it is good to live in the moment and appreciate the loveliness of autumn but you wouldn’t be the Cynthia we all love if you didn’t wonder if the trees shivered in the cold or were thankful for a rest!
I did love reading this beautiful paean to autumn and your wonderful descriptions of the beauty you see around you. Hamlin has captured it all with his excellent photos!
You made me grin, Clare. Thank you for such a lovely comment and I agree: Hamlin’s photos are terrific.
My pleasure, Cynthia .
Such beautiful photos and thoughts, Cynthia. Autumn is a time of gathering in and of absorbing the last of the warmth and colour. I am glad you are making the most of it.
Thank you. As always, you bring a valued perspective: “a time of gathering in”.
I wouldn’t say ‘the gathering in’ applies to the waistline in autumn because of the effects of all the season’s delicious bounty.
simply magnifique, Ma’am! ❤ I've loved Fall since my childhood…
* * *
"The golden days!
Warm with sunshine and dreamy with haze;
and cool with the breeze!
Like troops of tropical butterflies,
Clouds of leaves from the gorgeous trees
Flutter and fall,
And cover the earth with splendid dyes
Matching the marvels of sunset skies."(Harriet McEwen Kimball)
Oh, I love this, Melanie! Harriet captured it so well. Thank you for sharing!
Wow–what a great post! The words and the photos, both so beautiful. I love autumn best and feel like I sort of missed it this year, distracted by daily concerns. Your post gave some of the glory back to me!
I hear you, sister. I’ve had those times too, where outside has been gorgeous and I’ve been stuck inside and missed it! Glad the post gave you back some of the glory of autumn.
Beautiful photos, Cynthia. And beautiful meditation as well. In the past few years I have come to think of winter as a time of rest. The earth has a good sleep in preparation for the next spring. But fall is indeed glorious in all its beauty and savoring it is a pleasure every year!
and you’re so right. The earth really does need that good sleep. (But why do we humans not get to hibernate too during winter? I could use a good long doze sometimes….)
Oh I just love Hamlin’s photos Cynthia … and autumn is such a beautiful time 🙂
Hey girlfriend: Hamlin is just trying to keep up with your absolutely gorgeous pictures of scenes of your garden. Did Bill come and make some preserves this year for the winter? I forget.
Hey Cynthia .. no he is coming back in January. Yay! I’m happy about that. And thanks so much for your comment about my photography 😃
Beautiful in more ways than one! We don’t have that kind of beautiful autumn here but I can see why you hate to see it go. This is a loving tribute to your family. I love the last lines and will keep them in my heart this week as I need to be thankful for what I have. Life will never be perfect but we can be grateful.
Well said, Jo Nell. We just need to remind ourselves, don’t we?
Good for you, Cynthia, to have such an approach. I wish I could have this attitude towards injuries. I have a lot of insight in medical matters, education in pharmacology and practical medicine, and I think that simply Canadian health care is in a bad shape. Maybe your bad leg could improve, too. I’m saying this because I have spent 4 years struggling with complications which shouldn’t be an issue at all assuming that the treatment wasn’t only a very slow and ineffective observation. There is a cure for almost everything. I am desperate to treat this condition, too, because medications are the other downside of long treatments. Well, there is a cure, and it unfortunately costs a lot of money. I haven’t lost hope to collect that amount and become a normal person again. So far, it’s not going anywhere, but I still hope.
Fall is a time to reflect on the busy summer and to harvest what you have planted. Your harvest is great considering the success of Myrtle the purple turtle. Great pictures, as well.
I hear you, and I understand, Inese. It’s tough. I hope you will get the funds you need to be cured. Wishing you a good week.
Oh my goodness. The lovely note to Mum brought a tear to my eye. It’s good to be loved:).
Such a beautiful autumn blessing, dear Cynthia. May the snow in Ontario politely wait for all the leaves to fall first before making its grand entrance. 🙂
Blessings from snowy Vancouver Island ~ Wendy
I know I should feel a bit sympathetic to my B.C. friends, Wendy, but I smile every time you or my daughter on the west coast posts a picture of snow. It’s just so entirely unexpected.
It’s made for interesting photography. Besides, Canadians love to talk about the weather–eh? 🙂
A most beautiful tribute to our Canadian fall. My favorite time of year. And the photos are a great capture of some of our splendor. 🙂
Well – that was uplifting; thank you!
Most moving and meaningful words about autumn. It touches my heart. I thought you also might enjoy my “conversation” with an orange leaf (from my blog). Here’s the post: https://overthehillontheyellowbrickroad.com/2017/09/11/conversation-withan-autumn-leaftrying-to-understand-why-it-has-to-go/
What a wonderful and positive post! Hamlin’s pictures are stunning as always and your words are such a gentle but great reminder to find contentment in this crazy world all around us. Thank you
That’s beautiful, Cynthia. Yes, we really must be thankful for the simple blessings in our life. 🙂
It’s such a beautiful time of the year 🙂. Lovely pictures 💛
Beautiful thoughts and pictures, Cynthia, thanks for sharing them. Life is about letting go, isn’t it. But also and so importantly about embracing the moment and making the most of it. Carpe diem is my motto and although I’m not always successfull, I do my best. I also think we’re blessed in many ways. Not in a religious sense but through being who we are and where we are. Having said that I wouldn’t mind having escaped the digital age…but then I wouldn’t have met you 🙂 best wishes to both of you PS: Don’t worry, the trees don’t feel the cold! One thing less to worry about 😉
Ohhh, yes, I relate to this. I try to not cringe with the idea of winter around the corner. Autumn is so spectacular; I feel like I’m walking through a tunnel of orange every morning. But last night it hit below 30, and my beautiful (still thriving) flowers died. Winter won’t stop, but then, we have the wonder of falling snow! 🙂 Your photos are terrific.
Wise words and fabulous photos. 🙂
I’m with you, Cynthia. Your thoughtful musings about autumn and the trees, and your endless admiration of their beauty. Hamlin takes some extraordinary photos. That textural one of the leaves shaded from pale green to lavender to purple – spectacular. Yes, let’s take our blessings when they come and be grateful, even while our challenges are all about us.