Seasonal Celebrations-Autumn Awaits

While the bright radiant Sun in center glows,

The Earth in annual motion ’round it goes;

At the same time on its own axis reels,

And gives us change of seasons as it wheels.

The (Old ) Farmer’s Almanac, 1793

As we embark on another seasonal change, I am reminded about the natural rhythm of things.  The rhythms I sometimes take for granted as day turns to night, birds migrate North in spring and leaves color and fall from the trees.  And while I sometimes miss these rhythms because I allow life to get too busy, internally I am tuned to the nature of things.  Perhaps it is the sun rising and setting that I am attuned to most, and those subtle changes of the sun and its cycles are what I react to and know as seasons.

But as the seasons change my emotions change with them, and while I may not always notice my body falling into rhythm, I am tied emotionally to the seasonal changes mostly because of my garden.  In spring I am jumping for joy to see blooms and green rise from the brown earth.  As summer comes, I welcome the heat and the veggies that I anticipate will be growing in the garden.  Winter of course I turn inward and hibernate to energize for the next season.  Now as fall approaches I usually become a bit contemplative watching the garden enter into one of its most beautiful times.  As it ages and fades, it leaves behind so much for the next generation of plants and critters.

This past May as I turned 55 and made the decision to retire (hopefully) this coming August 2013, I have had a hard time coming to grips with this life changing event.  It is the right time and the right thing for me, but the change is big.  My career in education has consumed me for the last 30 years.  From teacher to administrator I have worked 10-12 hour days for the majority of my career as this commitment to kids and teachers is a strong vocation.  My internal rhythm has been tied to this schedule and I am ready to make the change; it is time to renew.  So perhaps I should follow nature and its cues.

I have been thinking maybe I am resisting this change a bit because I am entering the autumn of my life.  A time to go slower, relax more, reap the benefits of the harvest of the past 55 years.  It is not a bad thing, but an exciting colorful time for me to explore, learn new things and enjoy.

For me this change of seasons not only evokes strong emotions, but brings on heightened senses.  Senses that are tied to wonderful memories that give our gardens a grand send off.  So what will be enticing my senses during this Seasonal Celebration?



The angle of the sun is changing as the sunrises later each day in fall.  Morning dew clings to everything showing colors and the almost invisible in a diffused light.  Visual splendor and surprises abound in the fall.





As many birds have left for a warmer climate South, our resident birds are feasting on the benefits of the spent summer blooms.  The fall garden is quieter and the visiting birds and bees certainly make a lovely sound.





While the smell of  dying leaves permeates the garden, there are a few flowers that send out a wonderful perfume.  Roses in the fall garden are such a pleasure to many senses but especially my sense of smell.




My favorite part of fall is the harvest.  This is one of my first pumpkins we hope to use for pies….mmmm!  The luscious taste of late season lettuces, radishes, carrots, herbs, garlic….well you get the picture…it is simply divine!




 I love the look of the ornamental grasses as they flower and change color in fall.  The textures are fabulous in the garden and watching the grasses sway in the breeze is a bonus.  I also love to touch the grasses as those textures are too enticing to resist.


Sometimes I am sad to see the coming of autumn as my garden prepares to sleep, but I know, like me, it is  gaining strength to put on another stellar show again in spring.  And for you folks in the Southern Hemisphere, I hope you will join me as you celebrate spring in your gardens.  Read below to see how you can join in Seasonal Celebrations.



My autumn mantra:

While work and garden chores will keep me very busy this fall, I must find time to go within and seek that inner peace the fall garden evokes, bask in its warmth and soft glow and find time to slow and enjoy nature and my garden.

“But now in September the garden has cooled, and with it my possessiveness.  The sun warms my back instead of beating on my head … The harvest has dwindled, and I have grown apart from the intense midsummer relationship that brought it on.”  ~Robert Finch


Come Join Us:

I hope you will join me for this very special meme.  Maybe my dreams have sparked some of your own. And it seems so appropriate to collaborate with Beth and her Lessons Learned meme.  What lessons have you learned this past season of spring here in the North and autumn in the South.  Then tell us about your wishes, desires and dreams for this new season.

The rules are simple.  Just create a post that talks about lessons learned and/or seasonal celebrations.  If you are joining in for both memes please leave a comment on both our blog posts.  Or if you are choosing to join only one meme, leave a comment on that blog post.  Make sure to include a link with your comment.


Beth and I will do a summary post of our respective memes on the equinox (around the 21st of September).  And we will keep those posts linked on a page on our blog.  Your post should be linked in the weekend before the equinox to give us enough time to include your post in our summary.  And if you link in a bit late, never fear we will include it on the special blog page (which I still have to create).  The badges here can be used in your post.   So won’t you join in the celebration!!


Next up on the blog:  There will be another Garden’s Eye Journal Monday so tune in for what has been happening all around the garden.  Then I will be highlighting the Lessons Learned in my summer garden as I join Beth for her meme.  I have a special anniversary coming in September as well.  It is going to be a busy month.

I hope you will join me for my posts, every 3rd Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.  I had to trim back my time blogging so I am only able to blog once a month on Tuesday.

Please remember, to comment click on the title of the post and the page will reload with the comments section.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2012.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.



53 Replies to “Seasonal Celebrations-Autumn Awaits”

  1. I love the reflective mood of your post and the look at the senses. It really reflects fall so superbly! Change is a little scary but I hope that you will find lots of fulfillment and joy in the next stage of your life. I can say that since I stopped “working” (not retired but a “work at home mom”) I am busier and more fulfilled than ever! The photo of the birds on the seed pods is a fantastic capture and I really love the light reflecting in the web on the trees!

    1. Wonderful compliments coming from such a great photographer like yourself. Glad you really liked the post Karin! I plan to be busier…but I think it will be a less stressful and happier busy.

  2. Autumn is the time I come alive. My energy surges as the weather cools and the breezes sweep in. May your new phase of life be just as lively. Hurray for autumn. May the autumn of our lives turn out to be the best bit yet!

    1. I am with you Esther…I plan for these years to be the best…time to come to life more and enjoy every moment…bring it on…I am ready!

  3. A lovely post Donna and I must say each year I enjoy Fall more and more. I am like you and am attuned to the sun and its cycles. I can see that although it is still very warm where I live, there are other changes representing the changing of seasons. Best wishes to you as you enter retirement. Although, all I know about you is what I read on your blog, it seems you will have no problem finding many meaningful activities to partake in that will absorb your new found time. Enjoy the change! P.S. Can’t wait to see more what is going on in your garden!

    1. Thank you Andrea! I know I will be busy next August as I start retirement…but it will be so much more fulfilling because it will be my schedule of things to do finally.

  4. Retirement will be a wonderful thing. I ‘retired’ a few years ago and like it very much. The only problem is now I don’t manage my time as wisely and get less done than when I worked full time. Don’t fall into that rut. The finches are too cute-so many of them!

    1. The finches dominate my garden right now. I easily could fall into that rut Tina, so I need to be cultivate better habits now 🙂

  5. Donna: You know I always wish the best for you, and I look forward to our continued collaboration. Thanks for your support. I think we both have some exciting adventures, challenges, and joys ahead of us! 😉 Happy autumn!

    1. Beth, I am looking forward to that collaboration and all the changes ahead…seems like August of next year will be here sooner than I know! Here’s to autumn…the last opening to the school year for me.

  6. Amazingly post, Donna. I often struggle to define what it is that gardening brings to me personally and I love the way you have reflected the changes of life in the seasons. There is something about gardening in autumn, being the last one out there in the cold when all the barbecues and parties have long disappeared. It’s a time when I really feel alone with nature with everyone else long gone indoors.

    Love the Robert Finch quote. Who is he?

    1. Mr. Finch was a Canadian poet who died in 1995 at the age of 95. Claire I too love the alone time in fall with nature…the quiet reflective time. So happy you liked the post!

  7. I have always enjoyed the fall garden. Waiting for the brisk air and the cool evenings. Right now I am outside more when the days are cooler….summer in SC it is too hot to really enjoy being outside for a long period.
    Was just outside a few minutes ago, really taking in the fragrances on the air…think it is a mix of gardenia and honeysuckle.
    Will try to get my head into a post about the equinox.

    1. I wish I had something with fragrance blooming but not much blooming with the drought still in high gear. I welcome the cooler weather so I can finish several projects….your garden sounds lovely in fall.

  8. A lovely thoughtful post about your coming retirement. I am sure you will find more than enough things to fill your days with, and after a while you will wonder how on earth you had time to go to work every day in the past. I had to retire at the age of 30 due to my many health problems, an age where most people are still climbing their career ladder. Gardening and photography have truly kept me sane the last 18 years!

  9. Ah again your post fit my mood perfectly and you expressed it much better than I can…I see these wonderful memes for gardeners but as when I started bird watching, I didn’t feel “qualified” to join in, but I hope to as I gain more knowledge….Michelle

    1. You will join in as you build your confidence…I hope you might join my meme though…love to see how you view fall especially with nature.

        1. Just 4 times a year and you have plenty of time. It runs from the 1st to the 21st although a few days before the 21st is best so I have time to get your post in my summary post on the 21st….love to have your post!

  10. A teacher who holds on until 55 deserve a congrats from some of her students who’s lives were changed when you entered theres. I hearing the voices from To Sir With Love.
    I can tell by your five senses post that you have a lot of teaching left in you.

    1. Patrick how very nice of you to say so…that movie is one of my favs and I am sure you know why…I think that is why I took up blogging…still lots to teach out there!

  11. Reading your post made me sad in the way autumn always makes me sad now. When I was young it was my favourite time of year, no idea why, maybe because as Debbie at Deb’s garden said in our education system September is the beginning of the new school year rather than the end. Now I prefer spring with the hope that brings. Autumn hasn’t arrived yet but there are signs now and the weather has cooled a little, I’m ready for autumn this year, summer has been too hot for too long. Christina

    1. Christina I guess I still enjoy fall because I never left school. Being an educator our year will begin on Tuesday. There is always that excitement. Spring is much more joyous though I would agree as a gardener. I struggle with autumn as the season progresses and the days shorten and cool to winter. While I want cooler weather, I hate to see it all end. But my goodness it is still too hot here. Hoping we all get some cooler, wetter weather soon!

  12. I identify with your attunement to the seasons and changing light. Fall evokes such nostalgia for me. I like the Robert Finch quote very much. Though when I think about it, perhaps I am more possessive in autumn. I want to hold on to every last bit of slanting light and blue sky and colorful foliage…

    Change is difficult. But I sense that you will be able to blossom creatively in retirement. I am amazed at your energy in making the time to garden and blog so regularly despite working 10-12 hour days. I sometimes miss the free time I had when I was un- and under-employed and the opportunity it allowed me to photograph and write and read and reflect and enjoy nature. What a gift!

    1. Sheila I understand as I miss that free time when I had a few months of working part time before this current job. I agree that autumn is savored for every moment in the garden as they are marked days when I know I will not be able to continue past the end of October…then the real melancholy strikes.

  13. Donna, what an elegant post. And what a couple of years you have ahead of you, first anticipating leaving your current position, then taking up your new life. Entering both Autumn and our autumnal years are such rich and reflective times, and I have a feeling yours will be a well-examined experience. Your readers will all benefit from your soulful sharing.

    I, too (at 59), have decided to make a big career change. Although most of it will take place next spring when I am 60, the wheel is already in spin. There is something terrifyingly wonderful about this step into the unknown, made with a dash of youthful dare, and with a much deeper sense of purpose. It’s an autumnal act of promise, not unlike planting bulbs.

    All the very best to you!

    1. Oh Cheryl you comment really touched me deeply…how very nice of you to say so and I hope that I can benefit my readers. I look forward to seeing what wonderful plans you have cooking too. You described it perfectly….’step into the unknown, made with a dash of youthful dare’. Love it!!

  14. Donna, I, too, am attuned to the four seasons of the northeastern United States. (When I lived in southern California for a couple of years after college, I found it very difficult because I missed those seasons so much. Rainy Season and Fire Season just didn’t cut it for me.) I think the seasonal effect is heightened for those of us who have made careers in education, because the rhythm of the school year is tied to the rhythm of the seasons. it will be interesting to see how retirement affects your sense of the seasons. (Will fall still feel like the beginning of a new year when we are no longer meeting a new group of students?) I am very much looking forward to the cooler, crisper days of fall.

    1. I too am wondering how fall will feel next year…I am hoping to be traveling in the beginning of the school year to reset my clock…I think I won’t know what to do with myself for the first several months…

  15. Loved this sensuous post and the Finch(es) on seedheads and in verse! Yours is a big decision Donna and it will take a hunk of digesting first. Still, you’re a philosophical woman and in time, it will surely fall in to place, like everything in your garden.
    p.s. thank you for still finding time to stop by my blogs 🙂

    1. Laura you are welcome and I adore your blogs and when I see the notice of new posts in my email, I click right through to them. 🙂

      I am glad you enjoyed the post and your words of encouragement are so appreciated.

  16. Your decision to retire is a celebration, indeed. It will be a change, a change you seem ready to make. I wish you the best as you embark on the final year before you start your new life.

    1. Thank you Michelle. I am ready and as we started the school year today the realization that this was the last one was OK. No great sadness or regret…just anticipation.

  17. As a gardener, I almost hate to see fall coming because winter comes right after. As a person in the autumn of my life, it is sad to me to think of my winter approaching. It seems so quickly the year(s) passed by. Despite that, I think you will love – LOVE! – being retired. If not, you can always go back to work! 🙂 Love how you used all the senses in your post. It felt like a love letter to the garden.

    I’m linking in with my post here:

    1. Wonderful Holley…thanks so much for participating. I know I wil be working but on new things that give me new joy…what that will be we shall see. But I cannot wait to do nothing or whatever I want for a while. I have that love/hate thing with fall too which is why I went with what fall conjurs up for me-the senses….you are right it was a love letter to my garden as it braved this past year!

  18. Such a thoughtful and thought provoking post Donna. As someone who was forced to “retire” from work through illness, I know what a huge difference it makes. Suddenly all that structure and meaning, all those conversations and encounters, all gone. It tool time to appreciate the upside of living at a slower pace, of being around during the day, of not being controlled by the clock. You are such a thoughtful person, I am sure you will work through the very appropriate grieving for the passing of one stage of your life, but that it will be leavened with your lust for life and your creation of new patterns and rhythms.

    1. Oh Janet thank you for this most kind comment. I am working so hard right now it hasn’t even sunk in that this will be ending. I am wondering when it will sink in. I do hope to create those new patterns and actually will embrace them fully although I expect I will have a bit of grieving still..

  19. Donna, we so often define ourselves through our careers and what we do, rather than who we are and what we value. For you they’ve seemed to line up beautifully, and I can’t see how shedding one aspect of “doing” when you retire will uproot you in the way that it sometimes does others, because your values are so strongly defined. I’m really excited for you, to be able to leave what I know has sometimes been an unpleasant atmosphere at work, and stretch out and explore in other areas!

    1. Stacy I do hope you are right. I did let my career define me at one time and that was deadly, literally! I hope to travel and one of my first trips I hope will be to NM to visit a dear friend for a few weeks in Santa Fe near the end of Aug beginning of Sept 2013. If that comes to fruition I will try to hook up with you and GirlSprout on that trip.

  20. (still catching up) The autumn leaves on fire with the dew-spangled web makes for a spectacular contrast, and an unusual angle. My niece is just going into early retirement – happily homeless (they sold their house and are going to travel the country in their caravan) and jobless by month’s end.

    1. We considered selling the house but I need to have a residence in NY so I can keep my retirement benefits from being taxed. I will happily be jobless for a while until I figure out what is next…I would love to do a bit of work to earn some money to pay for my increase in traveling I hope 🙂

  21. Donna, thank you so much for your sensitive discussion about next steps, seasonal celebration and retirement. I will retire at the end of this year (at 65) and can’t wait to have more time to explore more deeply how to celebrate each day and our delicious seasonal changes (here in Atlanta) especially with my granddaughters (ages 2 and 5) – through their eyes I see so much more than with my own. Reading the memes have been perfectly inspiring.

    1. Oh Judy what a very sweet and kind comment..I wish you much luck and happiness on your retirement. I am so busy this year I have had very little time to even think about my retirement in August….but I will certainly be looking forward to it after this year. I hope to keep writing about my thoughts on retiring and also hope to even write a memoir about it…love to hear your thoughts as you retire!

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