Autumn Treasures

The leaves have been changing colors and falling to the ground far too fast for me this year. Summer was difficult to part with. It was a particularly busy summer — leaving no time for rest or relaxation for me. How I longed for just a little bit of summer "pausing." That was not in the plan for me this year. Now, it's merely a season past and I'll need to wait a year to experience it.

However, Autumn promises to bring its own gifts and beauty which oftentimes is breathtaking to me as I delight in a moment's respite observing the sun's rays pouring through white fluffy clouds that dot a turquoise sky, softly bringing a glow to the rich Autumn colors of reds, oranges, and golds. As a lover of nature, the warmth of these images can be felt straight through to my heart.

Leaf piles of years past come to my mind and the remembrance of lighthearted squeals from my kids throughout their carefree and tireless jumping. The air, feeling crisp and clear, with the crunching of leaves underfoot, beautiful star-decorated night skies — oh, glorious nature! Thank you, Lord for its beauty that fills our earth!

The smells of apples permeate the air as we reach to pick only the perfect ones from rows and rows of trees, filling our bags at the orchard. The sweetness of the apples quenches our mouths as we sample a few in order to make good choices! Apple picking has become a tradition in our family — a way we welcome the fall weather. The air turns brisk and we feel called to head to the orchard. I'm not sure what is more pleasant for me, the trip to the orchard with as many of my children — young and old — as are able to come, or the subsequent peeling, slicing, and assembling of our delicious red treasures into apple pies, apple crisp, and apple sauce to enjoy — with lots of cinnamon, of course! I absolutely love gathering my family together at every opportunity! There's also something very special about family members working together in the kitchen. Some may worry about the mess; however life is too fleeting to be concerned with spilled flour. We need to fully enjoy our together time.

 Pumpkin picking and carving are also activities that we enjoy together in the fall. We like to go to a local pumpkin patch at a farm and pick out some of these great vibrant orange vegetables to adorn our porch steps. Carving becomes an art form in our household because we have many artists in our family.

This year, I stood in line at the post office after packing two boxes with plenty of newspaper that were being sent to different colleges. My boxes were marked, "Fragile and Perishable!" on every side. As the clerk weighed my parcels, I proceeded to tell her that I was sending pumpkins to two of my children who were away at college, since I knew they wouldn't have occasion to get one for themselves and would appreciate being able to have a remembrance of home in New England. The clerk smiled and I hoped that they would arrive without breaking or rotting first!

Every family can begin their traditions when their children are small, enjoying special times together which will ultimately create fond memories that will be reminisced about in many future years. They'll also pass on family traditions to their own children. Is it time for hot chocolate yet?

Thank you, Dear Lord, for Your many blessings found in nature and for a family in which to enjoy them. Thank you, Dear Lord, for Your love!

By

A Catholic wife, mother of five, award-winning journalist, best-selling author, photographer, lover of nature and a lay Missionary of Charity (Mother Teresa's Order).

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  • Guest

    Donna-Marie, you sound like the sort of woman who will understand when I say that the sight of those brightly-colored leaves (sometimes set against the bluest sky imaginable, sometimes set against the dark gray of impending storm) makes my heart hurt!  Why?  Because the beauty is so awesome, mind-blowing……and God has told us that heaven is even more beautiful than this

    I often think how wise God is that I'll be dead before I face such unimaginable beauty—otherwise, I'd die from sheer joy!

  • Guest

    Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle http://www.donnacooperoboyle.com http://www.donnamariecooperoboyle.blogspot.com http://www.donnamarieembracingmotherhood.blogspot.com

    Yes! I understand, "Cooky642!" God is so good to us to give us this beauty to enjoy.

  • Guest

    Cooky642–yes, it hurts!  I will slow the car, even pull over to the side of the road sometimes, just to look at a beautiful tree in it's final stages(the kids will point them out to me if I am preoccupied with driving!)  And then, when all the leaves have fallen and you can see every branch—I think THAT is a beautiful sight as well.  Their shape, their character–what they are "truly made of".  Often I meditate that that is how God sees me at all times and how he still loves me.  THAT is a hurt so tender and wonderful.

    God Bless you Cooky and Donna-Marie.

     

    Jesus, I trust in You!

  • Guest

    Dear On a Journey: thanks for chiming in, here.  I have to ask, when looking at the bare-naked trees, do you ever think about how all that "character" was hidden so recently by such an abundance of leaves?  I once went into the Perpetual Adoration Chapel right after the Easter Vigil Mass (no one was supposed to be in there, but I couldn't stand it!), and started with, "Even though You are still hidden in the Tabernacle…".  As clearly as I'm sitting at my keyboard, He said, "Just like I'm 'hidden' in a little piece of bread?"  !!!

    Thank you, Donna-Marie, for your response.  It is an encouragement to know that the author reads them.

  • Guest

    Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle http://www.donnacooperoboyle.com

     http://www.donnamariecooperoboyle.blogspot.com

     http://www.donnamarieembracingmotherhood.blogspot.com

    Thank you, "On a Journey" for joining in. I agree that all of it is such a beautiful sight – the tree full of an abundance of leaves and the bare tree, naked against the sky, reaching up. As I just wrote this, I just realized, Wow! My daughter, who is an artist has a fondness of trees too! She had a whole display of art at a show dedicated to trees! She and I both love birds a lot, too. if you go to this http://donnamarieembracingmotherhood.blogspot.com/2007/07/chaldeas-art-show.html link you will see a post at one of my blogs that I did about her tree paintings along with a few photos.

     

    God bless you!

    Donna

     

  • Guest

    Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle http://www.donnacooperoboyle.com   http://www.donnamariecooperoboyle.blogspot.com  http://www.donnamarieembracingmotherhood.blogspot.com

    Dear "Cooky,"

    Thank you for sharing your experience at the Blessed Sacrament with Jesus. That's beautiful! He is an amazing God who humbles Himself before us and is hidden in a piece of bread for us to eat and be nourished by. My heart is broken when I see people in Church being so disrepectful of our dear Lord who died on the Cross for us. and allows Himself to be there available to us in the tabernacle. I am going to post a little something I wrote about that on my "Daily Donna-Marie" blog in a little while. The address to the blog is above.

    God bless you!

    Donna

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