Before the fullness of the fall, comes the golding.
That moment when our shrubs and trees take on various shades of gold. It’s fleeting, a moment glimpsed before the main event.
The golding takes place in that space between the vivid greens of spring and summer and the reds and oranges of autumn. It’s a minor act leading up to the big attraction that inspires the gorgeous adjectives.
I honour the golding, observing how it lights up the ground in mid-October, how it repeats itself in the sister-colours of leaves on vines and trees that will never turn red or orange, but give their own light. The birches and some maples, for example.
Soon will come the stars of autumn, those brilliant-coloured leaves that appear in an explosion of glory — clothing large trees and small shrubs and instilling feelings of warmth and wonder in the people of this region.
When that happens, we are no longer casual passersby on a quotidian walk along the road. We are humans transfixed by a familiar astonishment: that our planet Earth could yield sights of such overwhelming beauty.
Transfixed, we are, by magic and grace and awe.
We want to hold on to it all, just that bit longer before the brittle dry bones of winter move in and take its place. We want the beauty and the brilliance, the warming and the wonder. The flourish, not the fading.
We know that winter is more than dry, dark bones. That it brings its own beauty. That what seems to be death also brings life.
But we are human. We mourn the passing of the colours. And I cast back to the golding, the poor cousin of the rich, brilliant colours, because that was a time when the light was golden and we knew what was to come.
Our family’s October brought it all: the greening, the golding, the brilliant reds and oranges. The hoping, the shining, the fading.
In one week, we experienced the birth of a precious new baby and the illness, sudden recovery, then slow death of a beloved relative.
One, in years to come, will take her place at the family table. One, in years past, always had a place at the table.
Joy and grief have tangled, alternated, shared space in our family’s hearts this October. We’ve cried tears of joy and incredulity, and tears of pain and shock.
But we’ve held on to this, above all: love, gratitude and faith.
As we journeyed from one bedside to another, from one hospital to another — from feelings of wonder and warmth to feelings of anxiety and distress — love, gratitude and faith helped sustain us.
In them, we find strength. In them, we both remember and look forward. And in the space between the remembrance and the visioning, these three – love, faith and gratitude, all intermingled — help us to provide support for those who need it most.
The new parents.
The grieving wife. The stunned children and grandchildren, the nieces and nephews, the siblings.
At the start of November, we say farewell to our beloved elder, Keith.
We say welcome to our beloved newborn, Vivian Victoria.
We are grateful for the blessing of you both. In your birthing and in your dying, in that golden space between the greens and the reds, we hope you’ve felt our love, gratitude and faith with its light and warmth.
23 thoughts on “The Colours”
I join you in your sorrow and joy. May you and your family find peace, comfort and renewal in the days ahead. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers.
How beautiful. You have captured the circle of life in such lovely prose. Both my joy at the birth and my condolences at the passing are wrapped and sent with blessings for you and your family. Hugs.
I send condolences for your loss and congratulations to all for the arrival of Vivian Victoria…what a wonderfully strong name she has!!
These are beautiful words you have shared about transitions…autumn’s and other. Thank you.
You have such a gift for words and expressing heartfelt emotions. Cynthia. Your words, much like the grandeur of autumn, take my breath away. I’m sorry for your loss and am awed by your graceful reflections on the circle of life. Hugs and blessings…
I’m very sorry for your loss Cynthia. This is a very beautiful piece about the beauty of the season but also about the cycle of life. Many congratulations on the birth of baby Vivian.
What an incredible description of the beauty of the cycle of life. You have written a beautiful tribute to your family member and a celebration of the birth of your granddaughter. Truly a touching piece of work!
What a wordsmith you are, dear Cynthia. You wonderfully expressed the loss of a dear one at the same time as the arrival of little Vivian Victoria. Very touched by it all – rejoicing with you in the birth of your grandchild and expressing sorrow for the loss of a loved one.
I am sorry for your loss. Life has a way of reminding us pf the important things.
I hope you and everyone you love find peace in your hearts.
Congrats on the newborn.
I’m sorry for your loss and happy for your gain, all at the same time.
I hope the glorious colors of the season helped ease your pain.
This is beautiful, Cynthia. I’m so sorry for your loss.
Such lovely words and photographs. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss and happy for your healthy new member!
I’m with Jill. A beautiful post that captures the joy and the grief of life. So very sorry for your family’s loss. But welcome, welcome to this world darling baby Vivian.
Quite a month, Cynthia, well symbolised in your words and photographs. “Golding” is good.
Your golding is beautiful and all around you. We would have to drive hundreds of miles to see that kind of fall beauty. Congratulations on the granddaughter! My condolences on the loss of your elder. Birth and death and life goes on. Beautifully written!
Life is full of this. So sorry for your loss and so happy for the new little one. Praying for you.
I too, am so sorry for the loss of your beloved relative and am full of congratulations for the birth of little Vivian.
Winter after autumn brings sleep and rest to the trees, I’m sorry for your loss, I hope some of that quiet that trees cloak themselves in, in winter, reaches you. Lovely to remember the gold, too.
Cynthia, a moving post of arrival and departure, of birth and passing! All wrapped up in the golding of autumn, the transition to winter. Life is so precious, its joys and sadness eternally intermingled. Hugs xx ❤️
Love Hamlin’s photos- gorgeous as ever, especially in the road, amazing. Congratulations, Grandma and I love the name..VV. Condolences on the loss of Keith. Interesting how often loss and birth coincide.
Oh Cynthia … I’m so very sorry for your loss thinking of you all. Hamlin photos are wonderful .. nature is so beautiful! Welcome to the new baby .. congratulations!
I’m so sorry for your loss, Cynthia. Your tribute is beautiful.
How beautiful written is this, Cynthia. I am so glad to hear of the happy birth of your granddaughter, and am sorry for the loss of Keith. Thanks for this lovely piece of writing and such beautiful photos.