The Autumn Outside–The Autumn In Me

I can still look out the window and on most days see the golden rays of sun streaming across the grass, the sky is a cobalt blue and some of the flowers still bloom in my garden;  The scene is very misleading and yet I wonder how it can be Autumn–nothing much looks as if its changed.  Later when I walk outside to pick some flowers  I realize how far from reality that pretty picture is.   Outside everything tells me that change is prevalent and that the golden look of autumn will be less and less as the days pass.

Not long ago the summer days were dense with humidity, as searing,  lemon rays of sun let little shade be available.  Now the day is dryer and cooler.  The  less intense, golden sun helps create the cobalt sky, as compared to the intense, lemon sun  that dominates the azure summer sky.   The closer I get to them, I see that the flowers stretch and bend their little heads to get more sun and their leaves no longer are the rich green of summer, but lighter with a cast of silver gray signifying their cycle is close to ending.  The color of the grass and the bushes is also less brilliant, except for the parts that are in the shade.  There the grass thickens and the patch widens, no longer impaired by the searing sun.

Last night I noticed the leaves at the top of our red maple tree  have changed  to a luxurious red/blue velvet and soon the breeze will gently carry them to lay on the grass.  Since both colors are each others compliment the velvet leaves are even more striking on the green grass.  The other trees near by will add their own leaves and they will be not less brilliant in their coats of yellow, gold and orange.

The little plants (only little because I am their protector and provider) in the garden call out for attention.   I know it is time to trim, cover with peat moss or a more protective covering so they survive through the long, cold, blustery winter.  As I attend to them,  I think it is also time to thank them for their profuse blooms this year and bid them a fond farewell until I see their little heads poke through the ground in spring.

As I tuck them away for the winter, I also think about how I tuck my Mother in each night with a light blanket now and a heavier covering as the weeks pass and the temperature drops.   The plants and she feel the same to me.  Each beckon to me for  help to do something that they can not do.  Yet, they are also dissimilar because the plants will cycle and continue their growth, while my Mother is completing the one cycle of life that we have.  As I watch her now I wonder when she will finally rest and have peace.  That moment is as unknown as being assured that each little plant will return from its sleep in the cold.

All of this makes me reflect on all the similarities in the human realm, particularly how words fit so easily within each.  It is Autumn now and I am in the Autumn of my life.   I am past the days of vigorous growth and production and now linger within a time where my leaves seem to have fallen!  It is a place where I am waiting until I can move to a more productive stage again.  It is a time that I can reflect and compare how I have changed.

The changes mostly are minor, but they are significant to me.  Where once I popped up off the floor, now it takes a lot longer.  Where once  I could garden the whole day and after I quit I was as good as when I started.  There are times I start doing something, like today when I put the eggplant in the grill and didn’t remember it for quite some time.  Its memory brought me tumbling down the stairway to see if between the grates of the Foreman grill would there be slices of egg plant or some unrecognizable thing laying there, staring and almost laughing at me.

This Autumn of my life is much different than when I reach my Crepusculum, although, once I felt my twilight was far, far away, now I can see where it could be just over the next hump,  that one deciding impediment that one meets in their lives and they know it is time.  But the Autumn of my life need not be completely sad and recognizable for only its nuisance problems, it can still be filled  with golden rays just like in nature’s Autumn.  Autumn is a transition leading to the great change of Winter, but in that reality there is still that little special ingredient I had forgotten for so long.  Hope is still in nature’s Autumn and it is still in my Autumn.  In the Autumn of the year there is a Hope for continuing to have the golden sun, warmer days and even the hope of a white, white Winter where rabbits hop across banks of white snow  and a Hope of Spring where tiny plants push up through the dark soil.  In my Autumn there is hope again, Hope for Happiness (yours and mine), Hope that God lovingly answers my Mother’s orison, Hope for a new wonderful Tomorrow, something she and Shadowlands will be happy that I want and Hope in Faith that all is meant to be.  Autumn under those jurisdictions seems as golden as it can be!


3 thoughts on “The Autumn Outside–The Autumn In Me

  1. Frank,
    You wrote of the transition of seasons so beautifully. Yes, my friend, we are approaching a different season in life, but, like the changing leaves, I believe it can be our most brilliant.

    Like the red maple, beauty is made in contrast. I wouldn’t go back to my spring or early summer. I was so miserable in those seasons. My late summer and early autumn has been my best yet. Even in loss, I am gaining “color” and I, like your mother, am so pleased that you are looking into the face of Hope. Hope is eternal and I am looking forward…

    Thank you, my friend for capturing this season so wonderfully.


  2. I think the metaphorical uses and meanings of Autumn in our lives are even more significant than outside. When I look inside my Autumn then I think and move a little forward. When I look outside I can become mesmerized by the elements and day dream. Today all I focus on as I look outside is the wind–and wind carries with it another whole set of metaphorical nuances. Hmm I started a poem on time, but the wind carries combined with time carry a heavy weight!!

    Enjoy the leaves!


  3. What a lovely, sparkling way to describe the autumn days. I love to read your writing, Frank. You have a special knack for putting my feelings into words. I love the way you describe the Autumn Sun as golden. Gold is a cooler color than the intense lemon yellow of Summer and I am enjoying it immensely.

    I am, I suppose, in the Summer of my life. It is nearly late Summer and I feel the cooler, more colorful days creeping in on me. As they do, I find that they are not as unwelcome as I once thought. I have a ways to go, yet I know what is around the bend. I am getting ready…as much as I can.

    I do not dread the Winter as I did when it seemed so far away. I’ve come to accept it as a part of life that, if God chooses, I will go through. I plan to attack the Winter as determined as I did when I was 16 and plowed through the snowbanks in my old car! My body, I realize, may not react with the same strength that my old ’63 Wildcat did, but I want my resolve to be as strong.

    Thank you for this post. Your insight and wisdom are great gifts to one who is not far behind you, pressing toward the Autumn days.



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