How beautiful the leaves

How beautiful the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days. ~John Burroughs

The weeping cherry glows as the last bit of gold in the lower garden, an umbrella of light in the late autumn garden.

The mild fall weather has delayed leaf fall and a few days have been warm enough to dine outside. Bill and I ate lunch at an outdoor restaurant in our local park; a mild sunny day filled the patio with diners in November.  The stillness and beauty of the lake we viewed from our table stayed with us for days.

The garden is a place of constant change. Two weeks ago, the trees were still loaded with leaves 

and the skies were blue.

What was golden

became bronze

and finally fell to the earth.

Autumn is the hardest season. The leaves are all falling, and they’re falling like they’re falling in love with the ground. ~Andrea Gibson

The last burst of color of autumn is at the entrance to our driveway, where the kousa dogwood and azalea leaves are having a multicolored moment.

I want to send a special thanks to all of you who read and commented on my last post about our beautiful Angel – your words meant so much and helped in the healing process. One of our longtime friends sent us a sketch he created of one of Angel’s photos; we were surprised and thrilled and he promised to send an oil painting. Gus was the best man at our wedding and our drummer when Bill and I were performing many years ago in Pittsburgh as Sundance (Gus is looking over my shoulder). He retired and moved to Florida a few years ago with his wife Shirley, where he has returned to drawing and painting – his work is regularly shown at a local gallery. We were deeply touched when this beautiful painting of our girl arrived this week – Gus caught the essence of her beauty and expression and it was one more gift of friendship that is healing our hearts.

For those of you who celebrate the coming American Thanksgiving holiday, I wish you a warm and loving holiday and a joyous autumn to all.

Go, sit upon the lofty hill,
And turn your eyes around,
Where waving woods and waters wild
Do hymn an autumn sound.
The summer sun is faint on them—
The summer flowers depart—
Sit still— as all transform’d to stone,
Except your musing heart. ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning, The Autumn


All images and text ©2021 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved except where noted. Painting of Angel Eyes by © 2021 Gus DiPerna All Rights Reserved

28 thoughts on “How beautiful the leaves

  1. Autumn is wistful, isn’t it, especially when you’re mourning. You still see and appreciate the beauty but you feel the loss. But what beauty! The view up the driveway is gorgeous with those dogwoods, so delicate and airy. Your three-part elegy to falling leaves is lovely as well. And what fun to see that old promo shot, wow! No wonder you were so moved by the sketch and painting of Angel – it’s full of spirit and sweetness. May your skies be as blue as those reflected in the birdbath. 🙂

    • Ah, Lynn, you are always so perceptive. Beauty and loss, the essence of autumn, and also the essence of losing Angel. I must admit, it was a little shocking to see how vibrant my life was in those days when we were young and laughing – yet there are new lessons in growing old as well. Wishing you blue skies as well, my friend – thank you for stopping by and sharing your quiet wisdom 🙂

  2. The painting of Angel (great work, not at all incidentally) reminds me of two paintings my wife has of two of our departed pets (one cat, one collie) that hang in our bedroom down in Houston.

    Though it’s my favorite season of the year to photograph, there’s something whimsically bittersweet about autumn, I think, stuffed as it is with existential metaphors….

    Have a terrific holiday, Lynn. It’s great to see you posting again, despite the circumstances.

    • Thanks Kerry.I love your phrase “whimsically bittersweet” to describe autumn – so apt. It used to be my favorite season when I was young but now I have to work to appreciate it – beautiful but a prelude to the black, white, and gray of winter here.

      I hope you have a wonderful holiday too! And it is good to be posting again 🙂

  3. LYNN!!!! OMG … you are still posting. I guess I happened to catch this in my reader at the right time. Wonderful pics – and my favorite is the one with the reflections in the bird bath. More importantly, peace to the two of you on losing your beloved Angel. The passing of pets is so hard – horribly hard – so keep smiling with those wonderful memories. …. aka A Frank Angle …

    PS: I invite you to come over for a beach walk. Here’s a sample for you.

    • Frank!!! So glad you stopped by and let me know where you are posting. I took a quick peek at your new blog and can’t wait to explore more. I’ve been posting very infrequently but just resumed a biweekly schedule this month (long story – physical issues, retirement, death of some family members including my lovely Angel, etc.) – so glad you saw me in the reader. You were the first person I befriended on WordPress, it’s nice to know that we are both back at it and reconnecting. You look so relaxed in your new environment and it is delightful to see you promoting some wonderful photographers. I look forward to catching up. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friend!

  4. Fine photos of your lovely garden, thank you Lynn. I specially like the gateway arch leading into the autumnal light in the wood behind.
    May these beautiful scenes bring solace after the loss of Angel. Blessings to you both.

  5. You have the most wonderful autumnal garden Lynn. And the blue skies just complement it perfectly. But the star of your post just has to be that wonderful portrait of Angel.

  6. Such a beautiful post, Lynn! My, my, the garden is stunning, the colors amazing, and your photos if it all are spectacular! It’s one of my favorite places on Earth that I’ve never visited.

    How grand that your friend captured Angel’s essence in his artwork. What a compassionate gift and use of his gifts.

    Good to hear you’re out and about! Joy and gentle peace to your Thanksgiving!

    • Oh Kitty, I do hope that you can visit in person some day! Gus certainly captured Angel’s essence in that portrait, Bill and I were so moved by it.

      I hope you and yours have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.

  7. A retroactive bon appétit to you for your outdoor dining.
    The four photographs grouped into one sure look fallful (i.e. displaying fall foliage).
    And that’s a happy black and white view back in time.

  8. All of your images here are beautiful, and your weeping cherry umbrella is an exquisite landscape, but that painting of your Angel is gorgeous. It must take your breath away!

    • Thank you, Babsje. Autumn was lovely here but Gus’ painting was a wonderful gift from a wonderful friend. It is now at the framer’s and will be hung in a place of honor. We saw a blue heron at the lake but I was too slow to capture it – I thought of you while watching it fly away. 🙂

      • So wonderful you saw a Heron – even if it flew off. Thanks for thinking of me and my Herons. I wonder how long yours will stay now that cold weather is moving in? Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving – I’m sure it will be a poignant one with Angel’s seat at the table empty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.