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There is a harmony in autumn, and a luster in its sky,
Which through the summer is not heard or seen,
As if it could not be, as if it had not been!

Percy Bysshe Shelley

I've never known anyone yet who doesn't suffer  a certain restlessness when autumn rolls around. . . .  We're all eight years old again and anything is possible.

Sue Grafton



Autumn is easily my favorite time of the year.  The days have cooled
down, the leaves have turned, and the world is busy preparing herself
for winter.  There's something magical about the clear brisk days,
the first smell of the woodstove or the fireplace, the first frost, the
sounds of the Canadian geese overhead as they pass through on
their way south, the canning of the late fruits and vegetables, the
pumpkin and cider stands on the roadways.  School has started,
and there's newness in the air, even though the season is the
precursor to winter.  Somehow, the world knows that winter is
necessary, and the long preparation for the cold of winter--the
preparation which is autumn--is a beautiful, necessary part of the world.

Fallen leaves lying on the grass in the November sun
bring more happiness than the daffodils.

Cyril Connolly

It is a mellow day, very gentle.  The ash has lost its leaves
and when I went out to get the mail and stopped to look up
at it, I rejoiced to think that soon everything here will be
honed down to structure.  It is all a rich farewell now to leaves,
to color.  I think of the trees and how simply they let go, let fall
the riches of a season, how without grief (it seems) they can
let go and go deep into their roots for renewal and sleep.

May Sarton
Journal of a Solitude

Autumn truly is what summer pretends to be:  the best of all seasons.  It is as glorious as summer is tedious; as subtle as summer is obvious; as refreshing as summer is wearying.
Autumn seems like paradise.

Gregg Easterbrook

There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
Its mellowed richness on the clustered trees,
And, from a beaker full of richest dyes,
Pouring new glory on the autumn woods,
And dipping in warm light the pillared clouds.
Morn on the mountain, like a summer bird,
Lifts up her purple wing, and in the vales
The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer,
Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life
Within the solemn woods of ash deep-crimsoned,
And silver beech, and maple yellow-leaved,
Where Autumn, like a faint old man, sits down
By the wayside a-weary.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



Autumn Chant
Now the autumn shudders
In the rose's root.
Far and wide the ladders
Lean among the fruit.

Now the autumn clambers
Up the trellised frame,
And the rose remembers
The dust from which it came.

Brighter than the blossom
On the rose's bough
Sits the wizened orange,
Bitter berry now;

Beauty never slumbers;
All is in her name;
But the rose remembers
The dust from which it came.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

Bliss Carman



The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.

Emily Dickinson

Autumn is youthful, mirthful, frolicsome--the child of summer's joy--and
on every side there are suggestions of juvenility and mischief.  While spring
is a careful artist who paints each flower with delicate workmanship,
autumn flings whole pots of paint about in wild carelessness.  The crimson
and scarlet colours reserved for roses and tulips are splashed on the brambles
till every bush is aflame, and the old creeper-covered house blushes like a sunset.

Roger Wray


No Spring, nor Summer beauty
hath such grace
As I have seen
in one Autumnal face.

John Donne

It seems to me that Autumn is the really austere season.  Everything
burns into a glory of colour and disappears. The green splendour of
Spring degenerates into lushness, the leaves are tarnished with dust,
but the flaming reds and yellows, the pale gold, the rose colour, the
splendid purple-red of these trees will swirl with the wind, will have
one splendid moment of sailing in the blueness of the sky, one moment
of motion beyond anything that a leaf could dream of. . . . I have seen
this country for the first time at an austere season.  But it would always
be austere because it is passionate. The earth burns with a colour of
orange, with the colour of red, burns with a purple blackness, shows
its ribs of stone, coloured, blanched, carved into fantasy.

Ella Young

November Night

Listen. . . .
With faint dry sound
Likes steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisped, break from the trees
And fall.

Adelaide Crapsey


The Pace That Passes Understanding (excerpt)

Autumn is not a time designed for speed;
After the summer's careful ripening,
Moments of quiet are the spirit's need
And time to listen when the wood sprites sing,
Time to absorb the beauty and take home
Something to hold of blue October skies,
Gold leaves to hoard for days we cannot roam. . .

Autumn is timed for little country roads
And hearts attuned to travel at their pace. . . .

And is an extra hour too much to spend
With all the countryside aflame with gold,
With rich fulfillment marking summer's end
And fall so soon a tale that has been told?
October woodlands cry for time to wait;
The beauty-wakened heart cries out to share
This wonderland before it is too late,
Before the frosty limbs stand gray and bare.

Mary E. Linton
When autumn shadows throw their patterns across the land, they are
not the images of fragile, dying leaves, not the bared arms of lofty elms,
not shadows of a fading summer; but swinging shapes as of books
upon a strap, of round and square boxes held under an arm,
of hurrying little people heading towards the nearest school.

Djuna Barnes


Autumn. . . makes a double demand.  It asks that we prepare
for the future--that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping.
But it also asks that we learn to let go--to acknowledge
the beauty of sparseness.

Bonaro W. Overstreet


Delicious autumn!
My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth
seeking the successive autumns.

George Eliot


Why is it that so many of us persist in thinking that autumn is a sad season?
Nature has merely fallen asleep, and her dreams must be beautiful
if we are to judge by her countenance.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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, and it is tinged
a little with sorrow.  Its golden richness speaks not
of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer, but
of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age.
It knows the limitations of life and is content.

Lin Yutang



Children in Autumn

Here, in the soft, sweet-smelling haze,
a maple stands alone, a blaze
of color, stirring memories
of rustic lanes and giant trees;
and there, along the curb for miles--
the leaves raked up in equal piles.

Could there be anything we know
that can evoke the wondrous glow
of childhood more than trampling leaves?
How clearly, then, the soul perceives--
amid the miracle of fall,
that we are children, one and all.

Oh, let me never grow too old
to be bewitched by autumn's gold--
to share the overwhelming joy
within the heart of that small boy
who runs amuck when he perceives
these tempting, ordered piles of leaves.

Jean S. Platt
with thanks to safrona7. . . .


Something told the wild geese

Something told the wild geese
It was time to go.
Though the fields lay golden
Something whispered, "snow."
Leaves were green and stirring,
Berries, luster-glossed,
But beneath warm feathers
Something cautioned, "frost."
All the sagging orchards
Steamed with amber spice
But each wild breast stiffened
At remembered ice.
Something told the wild geese
It was time to fly--
Summer sun was on their wings,
Winter in their cry.

Rachel Field
with thanks to safrona7. . . .


For humans, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.

Edwin Way Teale


October, here's to you.
Here's to the heady aroma of the frost-kissed apples,
the winey smell of ripened grapes,
the wild-as-the-wind smell of hickory nuts
and the nostalgic whiff of that first wood smoke.

Ken Weber


A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated 
to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made.  The 
acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter 
how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air.

Eric Sloane


 I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn 
sunshine by staying in the house.  So I spend almost all 
the daylight hours in the open air.

Nathaniel Hawthorne


Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; 
but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance.  What person can stand with autumn 
on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his or her world and the meaning of the rolling 
hills that reach to the far horizon?

Hal Borland

Summer is already better, but the best is autumn. 
It is mature, reasonable and serious, it glows 
moderately and not frivolously ... It cools down, 
clears up, makes you reasonable ... 



Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn,
time seems speeded up.  What was is not and never
again will be; what is is change.

Edwin Teale



The season for enjoying the fullness of life --
partaking of the harvest, sharing the harvest
with others, and reinvesting and saving portions 
of the harvest for yet another season of growth.

Denis Waitley


Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.

Elizabeth Lawrence


Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer
an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.

Stanley Horowitz


Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day,
from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and
withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the
thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn--that season of peculiar
and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness--that
season which has drawn from every poet worthy of being read some
attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.

Jane Austen


If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life,
then autumn rounds out to be reflection.  It's a time of year
when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the
perennials are gone.  Mother Earth just closed up the drapes
on another year and it's time to reflect on what's come before.

Mitchell Burgess




Daily Meditations, Year One
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