277. In the depths of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. ~Albert Camus

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A warm and cheery fire roars merrily
And shadows dance about the darkened room.
Beside the hearth a gardener sits and dreams
Of sunny days, of flowers in full bloom.
Some hollyhocks should tower near the fence,
Bright red ones that the bees can’t help but find.
The trellis at the gate again must wear
Blue morning glories, or the rosy kind.
To lend a bit of distance to the scene,
Close to the rear I’ll plant in shades of blue:
The tall and stately larkspur, double ones­
Of course I’ll put in scabiosa, too.
I couldn’t do without a pansy bed­
Snapdragons make such beautiful bouquets­.
Frilled zinnias and yellow marigolds
Add just the proper touch to autumn days.
The flowers grow and bloom with loveliness
Until a sound destroys the fantasy­
A burning ember falls and I must leave
My garden and my charming reverie.
~Helen Bath Swanson

I will sing to my God a new song: O Lord, you are great and glorious, wonderful in strength, invincible.  ~Judith (Apocrypha) 16:13  ✝

166. Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning…. ~Wallace Stegner

The foliage had been losing its freshness through the month of August,
and here and there a yellow leaf showed itself like a first gray hair…
September dressed herself in showy dahlias and
splendid marigolds and starry zinnias.
October, the extravagant sister, ordered an immense amount of
the most gorgeous forest tapestry to make glorious her grand spectacle.
~Edited and adapted excerpt from Oliver Wendell Holmes

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The first leafy sign of autumn appeared on the Dogwood today, and it triggered a flood of “color” musings in my mind.  Chestnut and chocolate!  What’s not to love about a season that clears off summer’s calamities, piles delectable hues back on nature’s palette, and calls for a pot of hot chocolate?  Lemon and lime!  Grasses, flowers, fruits, berries, and even a beastie or two weave fabulous garlands in the sacred temple bound by earth and sky.  Maroon and mahogany!  Chilling winds induce chemical changes in leaves that conjure up magic shows on woody altars in earth’s forests.  Mauve and mulberry!  The leaves on maples, oaks, dogwoods, pears, persimmons, and other trees give birth to colorful, parchment-like jewels that will one day snap off, swirl in little eddies, and play like children upon the ground.  Orange and ochre!  Pumpkins made to squat on porches or bales of hay tickle the fancy of mortal tongues anxiously awaiting fall feasts and winter banquets.  Red and russet!  Roses, asters, and Maximilian sunflowers invoke a breath of spring not stifled by summer’s heat to keep the year’s last child in colorful array.  Sable and sapphire!  Skies often shrouded by gauzy, gray clouds are swept clear by northerly winds as cold fronts advance.  On such days a spectacular brilliance can be seen on the brows of morn followed by daylight hours drenched in deep, dreamy shades of blue.  Sterling and pewter!  Plumed grasses shift and sigh in authorship of haunting, autumnal hymns.  Ah, how lovely are the many colors of autumn and the Holy One who made them!

As long as earth endures, seedtime and harvest (spring and autumn), cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.  ~Genesis 8:22  ✝