Novembrance | Autumn’s Unexpected Gift

DSC_1228“It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. The rich colours of grass and earth were intensified by the mellow light of a sun almost warm enough for spring.” ~P.D. James

DSC_1118“I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its leaves are a little yellow, its tones mellower, its colors richer, 

DSC_1102and it is tinged a little with sorrow. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer,

DSC_1057but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitation’s of life and is content.” ~Lin Yutang

DSC_1095“The human soul is slow to discover the real excellence of things given to us by a bountiful Creator, and not until the shadows of death begin to gather around the object that we love, do we see its worth and beauty. 

DSC_1069Autumn is the dim shadow that clusters about the sweet, precious things that God has created in the realm of nature.While it robs them of life, it tears away the veil and reveals the golden gem of beauty and sweetness.

DSC_1103Beauty lurks in all the dim old aisles of nature, and we discover it at last.” ~ Northern Advocate

DSC_1154“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.” ~ John Burroughs
Another autumn nears its end. These very brief, fleeting days find me outside more than any other time of the year. The colors are just breathtaking and I constantly fight this irresistible urge to try to capture the breadth, length, and height of it. As we know, it’s an impossibility. I know autumn means to contemplate, absorb, and enjoy the richness of  its beauty. It’s also a time of remembrance as the year draws to a close and we look back.

Autumn is such a paradox. Brilliant, glimmering. But it is truly a descent into decay and ultimately … death. It is, in essence, a progression into loss. Just like autumn, we’ve all experienced loss in some fashion this year. Perhaps God fashioned autumn so brilliant just so we could see some sort of beauty in loss. But the journey of loss always holds gain as God brings something new to replace what we lost. We won’t know what it is until we look to Him in faith and ask.

As the leaves fall, shrivel, and die some things in our lives must do the same. I’ve endured a couple of deep, unexpected losses this year. As I grieve I look to God and the glorious creation He surrounds me with and try to grasp the new blessings in my life. Just as the inclination is strong to hold and capture every photo of autumn, I cling tight to what is no more. And I have to ask God for even the faith to believe there is something better. There always is. The truth stamped in autumn tells me so. Tells me there is spring.

And it’s not too far from now.

Peace, Alexandria

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  1. This is great, all your pictures are awesome. I love autumn, I mean I love it.

  2. This is such a beautiful post, Alexandra! Love these leaves and quotes. I guess they are almost all gone by now (?)

  3. Such a beautiful post! I especially love this line–both the lovely language and wisdom it shares–“Perhaps God fashioned autumn so brilliant just so we could see some sort of beauty in loss.”
    Thanks so much.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Thanks for the great encouragement, Kathy. I’m glad the words spoke to you. Autumn has a way of bringing comfort in difficult times, especially loss.

  4. Beautiful quotes and photos! I’ve been surprised to discover how many others there are who love autumn as much as I do. As Bliss Carman wrote, “There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood…”

  5. pattisj

     /  November 24, 2013

    Great fall colors, and I always enjoy the great quotes you find.

    • Thank you, Patti. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I look for quotes that resonate with me. I’m glad they do you, as well.

  6. First, I love “Novembrance” Alexandra – did you coin that phrase? Then, I love your closing thoughts. Just today my husband and I were at the memorial service for a good friend. After the service several of the attendees were headed to a baby shower for another friend. And we all commented about the cycle of life and how it continues whether we embrace it or not. My sympathies for your losses and my compliments on your beautiful, thoughtful post.

    • Thank you so much, Tina. The phrase is mine and I’m so glad you liked it. That means a lot as I put a twist in a familiar word.
      In mulling over all the melancholy associated with November I wanted something different. Was thinking about what November means to me and the word “remembrance” came as I ponder the year during the month. I came up with “November Remember” and suddenly combined the two. My husband really liked it. We both thought it had a warmth tinged with bittersweet and was perfect for giving November a theme of remembrance–happy and sad memories.
      Thank you for your sympathy.

  7. This is such a heartsome post. It is just how I feel about November and autumn — so hard, yet the light and the colors are so amazing. Just put there by God “so we can find beauty in loss.”

  8. An optimist. A woman after my own heart:) Thanks for directing my attention to this post.

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