Garden Lullaby

Magic of California Autumn // The September Garden

It’s eating fresh-picked, late-summer blackberries on the first day it feels like autumn is in the air. It’s how you are soaking in the last vestiges of summer but enraptured by every gust of wind making a leaf flurry center stage. And you just there in the front seat.

It’s the first day you’re outside and the air around you has suddenly shifted. It’s the first huge rain that comes down in buckets and cats and dogs and every other rain idiom you can think of.

It’s the warmth of the sunshine, but the coolness of the shade. It’s how every last day in the garden is heightened in its enjoyment as the season slowly turns. It’s how long these lasts last.

This is the magic of California Autumn.

Summer hangs on tightly. Spring even seems to show itself. The bursts of life are so bright against the dying leaves now piling in the garden. Yet even these blooms, bright as they may be, have an older look to them.

The garden as a whole does not seem near as playful. California Autumn is a gentle thing. Not dramatc. Not rushed. Not swayed by our opinions or impatience. It changes when it does. Wraps us in sunshine. Finds us in the garden with a plethora of zinnias, barefeet, babies lying on colorful quilts and us lying in the grass.

The September Garden has been absolutely stunning. Even its abundance, it does not have the youthful blush of spring, but I wouldn’t want it too. It’s beautiful when framed by our little corner of the world about to storm. It holds its own as the year gets old and the leaves fall and gather.

Every color, every rose bloom carefully bursting, every last long and warm afternoon has an enchantment only to be tasted this time of year.

And we are full.

Full having spent a year wrapped in the blessings of the Lord, welcoming our second child, experiencing our best garden season to date, pushing our son in the swing for months on end, back and forth, watching him grow right before our eyes, cultivating life inside and outside the garden gate.

The magic of California Autumn is the beauty and excitement experienced within it despite the lack of pomp and circumstance. And the joy of autumn itself is gathering up the stories of your year and sitting within the goodness of God. Maybe not making sense of everything, but knowing with certainty that nothing makes sense without Him.

And here you are. Perhaps a bit like my September Garden.

Abundance and weariness. Blooming but not youthful. Radiant as you weather the storm and those yet to come. It’s beautiful here in a way spring can never attain. Beautiful in a way hard to explain.

So I’ll go barefoot in autumn and be smitten by the novelty of it.

A Happy Fall, indeed.

Garden Lullaby

24 Was a Quiet Year

Garden Lullaby, January 6, 2020

24 was a year for tending and settling. I loved it.

I tended the responsibilities already around me, learned how to nurture my life, and celebrated my quiet, hidden season. I settled into my new hobbies and pastimes. I became a gardener like never before. I spent hours with our baby goats. I weeded my rose bed to clear my head and enjoy the beauty of life. I breathed in stunning scents from the outdoors, stayed up late writing a novelette that mirrored my own life, picked the biggest bunch of summer wildflowers, and savored every burst of life or breeze that made it move.

What a quiet year for tending, settling, and celebrating. And in the quiet, small & big miracles were laid at my feet. I was invited to see them, be a part of them, thank God for them.

I’ve loved 24.

It’s been a birthday gift like no other. And I know God has stored 25 with life I can’t even believe. Here comes another birthday gift of a year.


about this series

most recent birthday reflections

I’ll Remember You For, poem about 2021

Garden Lullaby

When It Doesn’t Feel Safe

Garden Lullaby, December 17, 2019

It’s so easy to subconsciously believe God is a thief. I find myself holding His good gifts with my eyes closed. Like WHEN ARE YOU GONNA TAKE THIS FROM ME, God?! But what I’ve BEGUN learning this year (from a goat no less!) is that when God gives me a gift that’s part of our love story forever.

The extraordinarily detailed gift of this little Roxy-girl will ALWAYS be in my history. No matter what happens in the future (a bad sickness, an accident, or her death), she will STILL always be a good gift I received from God. That’s a fact.

So how many good gifts are we too afraid to name? To acknowledge? To hold?  Are we closing our eyes with shaky hands afraid to receive? To rejoice?

Oh, how I am learning it is always safe to receive from God, and I can rejoice even when it doesn’t feel safe to do so.


about this Garden Lullaby series

This Was 26, some more about trusting God with overwhelming joy.

Order latest poetry book

Garden Lullaby

Hallelujah, His Light!

Garden Lullaby, September 27, 2019

Simply magical!

One of my favorite quotes from Monty Don goes something like this, “Gardens are about people not plants.” OH HOW TRUE!

Cultivating these corner gardens has been one of the most important things I’ve ever done (quite possibly more valuable than publishing a book). It’s a special thing to tend + nurture a garden that only God can truly grow.

I have evidence of God’s creativity and His love for life and beauty on my front porch and by my house steps and in my front yard (and honestly the evidence is everywhere. . .including in you & me. Hallelujah His light is more powerful than the darkness that persists!) 

HOW INCREDIBLE to be a part of God’s work in this way! What a delight, what purpose, what joy!


about the Garden Lullaby series

Please Don’t Scratch the Paint Off My Door, short story

Why I’m Still Writing about Infertility