An Orange County Autumn

Fire Station, Trabuco Canyon. November, 2011.

Oh Yes We Do!

Every fall, a litany arises from transplants to Southern California: “There is no autumn here!” 
Pundits reply that we have two seasons: Green and brown. But I’m here to tell you that fall does come to Southern California. 
Friday nights at high schools, Saturdays at universities, Sundays in metropolitan stadiums: Football returns, following the same national rhythm that you’d find in Michigan or Massachusetts or some other state with undisputed seasons on its calendar. 
October’s end brings trick-or-treaters to our door. Young Buzz Lightyears and Disney princesses line up with cheerleaders and jockeys and bandits, looking for a little something sweet. 
Thanksgiving comes. We may be wearing shorts and cooking our turkey on the grill, but it comes.
If you look closely, you’ll notice changes in nature, too. Different birds show up, passing through as they escape colder climates to our north. The aphids give up for the year. Spiders slow down. The lizards head for Mexico, or somewhere. 
With diligence, you can even find trees slipping from green to red, golden, orange, and yellow, then shedding their brilliant, brittling leaves in a luxurious strip-tease as the winds of autumn coax them from their branches to the waiting earth.

Trees in Laguna Hills. November, 2011.
Yes, we have autumn here. But it isn’t a knock-you-on-the-noggin season. It’s not like our summer, when the sun billows over us and the beaches sparkle and children play in the street until dark, which comes late. You’d be a fool not to notice summer in Southern California.

Fall slips in quietly. 

You have to look for it.

God works like that, doesn’t He? Sometimes I go through a season when I can feel His hand guiding me, feel His protection cocooning me from world He gave us–the one we broke. Other times He’s not so obvious. I must stop, still myself, listen, look for signs. But when I remember to seek, when I search for His presence, I always find Him, right where He’s always been. With me. 
I’d be a fool not to notice. 

11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NASB)

I’m joining Laura Boggess today over at The Wellspring for Playdates with God. Won’t you drop by? 

And I’m joining L.L. Barkat at Seedlings in Stone for In, On, and Around Mondays. Please pay her a visit.

On In Around button


  1. Your photos are so very awesome. Don't you just love those orange and yellow hewed trees mixed with those that are green? I do!! As we travel into town and across the freeways we in Northern California notice trees probably planted on purpose to give us that beautiful autumn display!

  2. Yes, Hazel, I do. I do indeed.

    His creation never ceases to thrill me.

  3. One of my favorite things about God is that He never hides from us if we seek Him. Great post, as usual, and, no, I haven't decided on a study plan for reading the Bible next year. I'm tempted by a chronological plan, though, because I think it would help me. (I'm chronologically challenged, also geographically challenged. Both weaknesses caused me some trouble in my studies of literature.)

  4. You're so right, Brandee….He doesn't hide if we seek.

    I did a chronological Bible last year and it really helped me. Gave me a whole new perspective.

  5. Those things that I have to look for…I treasure them so much more than that which comes easy. I think you're right, Sheila. He knows this better than I. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

  6. Thank you, Laura. Happy Thanksgiving!!