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.