Victoria NeuroNotes

Into the Gray

Autumn — Delicious Autumn!


It’s my favorite season.  For the better part of my life I’ve lived in climates that had little seasonal change, primarily areas in California and the Gulf Coast.   But when I moved to the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains (a little over a decade ago), my being became infused with the sounds, sights and scents of Autumn.

Each year, the experience affects me in a unique way like no other season does.

The color changes are spectacular — vivid shades of scarlet, saffron and russet.

I love watching the scurry of squirrels as they collect and bury nuts.

And feeling the crisp, cool breezes against my face.

Every leaf becomes a flower.   What magnificence to perceive.

Hardwoods burn in fireplaces.  Their essence makes love to the air and to my olfactory bulbs.

Animated shadows dance with grace and pull me into their trance.

The grand finale of brilliant colors burst as though to signal Nature’s last and most loveliest smile of the year.

My taste buds savor the harvest’s bounty and crave hot cocoa sprinkled with warm cinnamon.  Mmmmm

What’s your favorite season and why?  Feel free to share videos and/or photos.


Image courtesy of Caysha at


Author: NeuroNotes

Victoria predominately blogs about religion, and the brain's role in religious type experiences.

35 thoughts on “Autumn — Delicious Autumn!

  1. I love the winter, probably because I grew up in subtropical climates and didn’t really get one for years. I love the sensation of being cold and of snuggling into warm blankets. I love the few minutes after climbing into bed and pulling up the covers, when the cold of the air hasn’t yet given way to the warmth of the bedclothes–not because of the cold, but because I know what’s coming. I love shivering (my wife thinks I’m nuts, but there you have it nonetheless.) :o)

    Sadly, I’m the one in the monotone climate these days. I’m getting very jealous at all the posts talking about the wonders of oncoming autumn. I hope you all enjoy, and cast a thought from time to time upon those of us poor saps melting away beyond the Red…


    • Ahhh, since you are a lover of Winter, I’ll leave you with this:

      The images were taken at my sister and brother-in-law’s place, at a local collage where my BIL teaches, and from my apartment balcony (between Christmas 2010 and New Year’s Day, 2011).

      I loved the way you described the anticipation of warmth between the cold sheets.


      • Thanks for sharing the pictures. I especially liked the coffee cup. The last time we had a decent snow was thee winter of 2011–the whole town shut down, literally, and we actually had people skiing on the main street running through our part of Waco. I’ll have to send you the pictures sometime. We don’t get that sort of thing nearly enough down here. Makes me miss Missouri…


        • “I’ll have to send you the pictures sometime.”

          I look forward to it. Where I live, we don’t get a lot of snow. One or two snowfalls a year, maybe. But that Winter (2010-2011), we had a white Christmas and New Year’s. It’s been a long time since we had snow that heavy and deep, but especially a white Christmas. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to get ice more so than snow. I don’t know if there’s a more incredible sound than hearing snow fall in the still, night air.


  2. Ah, Victoria, you know how much I love posts like these.

    Spring and autumn tie for my favorite times of the year, but I will focus on the latter in this comment since it is your favorite season.

    I remember years ago watching Adele in this video. I thought she was freakin’ amazing! Chasing Pavements is about something we all can relate to: a dead-end job, a painful relationship or a career that we thought we wanted, but it’s not working out for us. For me it was about the pain of religion. I knew I was just going around in circles and no church was going to change that. However, I decided to continue chasing pavements for a few more years because, well, a good girl trusts God, tithes and continues to pray and read the Bible.

    The art direction, photography and sidewalk choreography are all amazing in this video. The words are basically her thinking out loud “Boy, am I stupid!” She wrote the song after she punched her boyfriend when she found out he was cheating on her.

    The whole video is all about autumn. There’s fallen leaves, browns, and oranges every where. Everyone is dressed too lightly for winter, but too heavy for summer. Even the theme of the song is about autumn. In the song, Adele is stuck in fall. It’s a beautiful season, but it’s all about transition and dying. She’s in a crummy relationship that just needs to die already, but there’s still apart of her that wants to keep it going….maybe it’s the idea of having to mourn the loss of a relationship (winter) or having to wait for the next boy, who knows how long that will be and how annoying it is to start all over again with someone new.


    • The art direction, photography and sidewalk choreography are all amazing in this video.”

      Hi Charity,
      Amazing, indeed. Adele is an incredible artist. I enjoy pondering about the seasons. Each one has its own beauty. I am drawn to the symbolism that can be found in seasons. I also have many thoughts about what Autumn means to me. Like that song, it represents change for me. For her (and you at one time) she was reluctant to the idea of change. For me it represents a respite. But unlike the song, the change is welcoming. A purging followed by chillin’. I have thought at times that if reincarnation were true, I would want to come back as a tree that lives for hundreds of years. Just being. 🙂

      Thanks for sharing the video and bringing it to my attention. I loved reading your comment and your analysis. So much depth. Good stuff. What does Spring mean to you? — and what is your favorite part about Spring and/or Autumn?


  3. Hey Victoria,

    I think Autumn is absolutely beautiful! Having lived in Florida, California and Hawai’i, I can relate to your longing for autumn. I actually go through that season here in west Tennessee. It’s really beautiful, but it’s something that’s not meant for us to stay in the state of. We can’t consistently be winding down or dying, there are things that need to just die in our lives. Winter, as bare, naked and vulnerable as it is, has to happen. (Oddly enough, my oldest, Intellectual, is only eight years old and thinks that trees are their prettiest during winter.) Winter is when we deal with our minds and our hearts, there’s nothing to hide behind. I also tend to get a little depressed when the sun hides, I think that’s a huge reason why I really throw myself into Christmas because it takes the edge off. I guess it’s my “drug” of choice.

    It’s interesting that my oldest boy loves winter so much because when I was in my second trimester with him Mr. Amazing and I more less were kicked out of a church that we were climbing the leadership ladder in. It happened right after Thanksgiving, just a little bit before Christmas (still technically in the fall). During that time I clung to a Margaret Becker song. It reminds me of autumn and the changing of the seasons. It was out for a while before this event happened, but I couldn’t stop listening to it. I took a lot of walks then. I would get my headphones on and kept my CD on repeat. I sung and cried, hoping that God was just leading me to another facet of Christianity, that the seasons were just changing.

    Coins and Promises lyrics courtesy of

    I should know better
    I should believe You
    But leaves are falling
    And I am crumbling in brittle pieces
    I should remember
    How well You warmed me
    But I’m standing in the browns and greys
    Of a season’s ending
    They say everyone must toss the coin of fate
    I think it’s such a cold, cold comfort for comfort’s sake
    So I take these coins and promises
    And I hold them in my trembling hands
    One is chance, one is rest
    One I toss
    The other I live
    I fear the forecast
    I know it can move me
    Still I close my eyes and try to remember
    The sweet words You told me
    I am simply so unprepared
    So weak and frightened by the whole affair
    I cannot stand
    But I will not fall
    Without Your promises
    Nothing makes sense at all
    So I dig them in
    And I dare my soul to believe


    • I haven’t heard a Margaret Becker song for 10+ years. How ironic that Margaret Becker was one of my favorite Christian artist. She was always straight forward and questioned the status quo. A tormented soul at times. I could really relate to her back then, pre-deconversion.

      Intellectual has an eye for art — for beauty. I love the stoic elegance of bare trees.


  4. Oh my! Seriously, Victoria, I loved Margaret Becker from 1991 to about 2011. How weird is that?! I saw her in concert at a church while I was a Bible school student in Dallas.

    The down fall to liking her is she actually encouraged me through her music to stay in the faith when I began to think about leaving.

    I loved “Streets of Innocence”, “Horses”, “Soul Tattoo”, “Unchanged” and “Immigrant’s Daughter”.

    I used to love Twila Paris in the early 90s. I had a nice male friend in Bible school and I didn’t know until three years ago (while he and I were Facebook friends) that he’s Twila’s brother! I loved her “Bonded Together”, “How Beautiful” and “Lamb of God”. She’s gotten super political a good while ago and is apart of that whole all the founding fathers of the US were Christians group.

    I used to really, really love Rita Springer in my late twenties and very early thirties right before I married. My favorite was “For all my days” and I loved her “You Said.” A few years ago her and Margaret Becker became good friends.


    • I’m going to tell you what you tell me…get off my wave length. Haha.

      No, don’t go. 😀

      To be honest with you, I experience some amnesia from that period of time, so I can’t remember a lot of my favorite artists (yet), but I especially remember Becker. I used to work for a Christian radio station. I programmed her music in daily, and it was usually my favorites by her. But you are right, she had a way of making you hang on to a hopeless hope, and doubt your own thoughts. I was also very involved in the music ministry in church, and I had tracks galore, as I sang special music often. I remember having a few Twila Paris’ tracks, too. Both sang from their core, and the message in their lyrics sometimes cut to the marrow of the bone.

      The sense of purging I attribute to the Autumn months also symbolically represents the continued purging of life-long indoctrination.


      • Did you mention your amnesia before and I missed it?

        Margaret Becker was my favorite artist by far! You’re creeping me out Victoria!


        • LOL — I might creep you out even more if I can remember that dang song.

          No, I’ve never mentioned my amnesia before. It’s related to the fallout from PTSD, and an atrophied hippocampus caused by acute stress. I still have blank spots-gaps, but it’s great when people help to light up those circuits that have been dormant for so long. I’m having micro-flashbacks as we post. Not in a negative way, though.


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  6. Victoria, I can see that about Intellectual. I gave him that name on my blog because he thinks, talks and at times, reasons like an adult. I know people might think I’m growing him up too fast, the truth is I can’t keep up. He’s a beautiful boy. He actually looks just like what my dad did at his age. When I see him I see what my dad could have been. However, I have had to learn to quit making up excuses for him and to get on with my life. Intellectual has it to be an author, a doctor, an engineer or someone who takes computers where we’ve never seen them go before. He’s very smart with a very creative mind. When “House” was on at a decent hour he would watch it with me. It was a great opening to discussions about drugs, diseases and reproduction.


  7. How are you mending after all of that? From the stories I’ve read on your blog I can understand how you got to that point. Yeah, if you want to continue to rap on about what we’re talking about, then count me in! Margaret Becker was one part of my Christianity that I actually have some good memories about.

    “From where I lay, I can see the sun rising through the trees. Before I face this morning rush, I get down on my knees.”


    • Oh, Victoria, to get back to your original question about spring…..Since my deconversion I see the season as an awakening. It’s the time of the year that I actually love working on my landscaping and yard. I’m certain that it’s my five year old’s (Nature Lover) favorite time of the year as well because he becomes alive after those short winter days are behind him. He is a huge collector of fine art such as rocks, sticks, flowers and feathers. He can tell you the names of birds, as well as which ones are male and which ones are female by feather colors and patterns. As a rule of thumb, the prettiest ones are male.

      When I was a Christian and as I got close to thirty as a single woman, I connected, yet again, with the Song of Songs. My favorite part was about the winter is past and the spring time has come. My favorite song in Church was Dance with Me (O lover of my soul, to the song of all songs). I was going through a new phase in the whole Jesus is my husband because I’m a single girl bit.

      It’s difficult for me to think of music and or videos that I like that celebrate spring because the ones that are so vibrant and colorful tend to be over the top. They’re very fake looking. A couple that come to mind are two really good songs, but those videos suck! The first one is TLC’s “Damn Unpretty” and the second one is Dixie Chick’s “Landslide”. It wouldn’t surprise me if they both used the same director. It’s clear that they just didn’t get Stevie Nick’s classic song. Her song is about changes and the torment she goes through when she realizes she might have to leave something she loves (music) behind so that she can get a regular job and actually be able to eat on a regular basis. It was also at this time that her daddy was dying. If I remember the story right, she and Lindsey were on the verge of getting completely out of music then Fleetwood Mac opened up to them and everything, obviously changed. In the Dixie Chick’s version it’s almost a magical and dream like song with a weird upbeat base and lots of mandolin playing and not the sad vulnerable type of plucking, but the kind that sounds very happy. Then again, this was literally right before their comment in England ten years ago about W. Now, fast forward three years with “Not Ready to make nice”. All three ladies wrote that song together. I believe they wrote it with another male writer. They went from a fake, quirky, adolescent set to one that was harsh, real and mature. In some ways it makes me think of winter because it’s truthful and bare, very black and white with splashes of red to signify passion and intensity.


      • Here’s a tune that reminds me of Spring. 😀

        Charity, I love how you go into such detail in your comments. Landslide was one of my favorites from Stevie, and I prefer her version, as it feels more authentic. I watched a documentary (Biography) a few years back about her life and career. Her beautiful essence came shining through.

        I loved praise and worship music. “As the Deer” was probably my favorite in church. Back then, I don’t think I ever sang that song without weeping. There were more, but that one stands out the most right now.


    • I’m mending just fine, and I have research and an amazing online support system to thank for that. 🙂 And…this morning, I remembered one of my favorite tunes from Becker.

      Oh how fitting the lyrics are for me now. Although there were many times I mourned the loss of my young adult life after deconversion, I’m making up for it now. It wasn’t for nothing, (giving my love away to an ancient belief system I was indoctrinated with since birth). I know that now. The betrayal was excruciating, but I seriously doubt I would have gained the knowledge I have today, had I not walked that path for a season. I feel lucky—very fortunate, and so glad I never stopped asking questions and searching for answers.

      Today, in this season of my life, I am lighting my candle in the darkness, and so are you. 🙂


      • Oh yes, I remember that one by Margaret Becker! “Light your candle in the darkness cause it’s never for nothin.”

        When I first deconverted I was really angry about losing four decades of my life that was full of misery, abuse and shame. Like you, I never really felt like I had a choice in the matter. I was thrust into it and my parents, Bible School and many churches brought me to that point and kept me there for so long. I still deal with the anger, removing myself from toxic things and people like Church, Christian TV, the Bible and my parents has helped a great deal. It’s as though my brain is not nearly as cloudy as it used to be. When horribly abused for so long, a person feels incapable of making any kind of decisions, however, as I’ve removed the bondages of those things and people I’ve mentioned, I’m beginning to make sound choices on my own and with Mr. Amazing. I admit, it annoys me when people tell me that I wasn’t really a Christian or that I had religion, not relationship, with Jesus. I also get irritated when people say that maybe that was my experience with Christianity, not theirs. They don’t seem to consider that I tried different denominations and different church sizes throughout the country, as well as different approaches to the Bible and various ideas of the earth’s origin. It’s not as though I tried one flavor and I was done.

        I just tell people online who are where you and I are now that we only have today. Today, I have my husband, our kids, my health, a great yard and house. Today, I have emotional freedom. Today I can teach my children love, respect and what to embrace and what to keep away from. I don’t want to be so caught up in the past that when I glance back at today in the future I find myself mourning the loss of the life I didn’t appreciate. Of course, I can say that now because at this time all seems well, but I don’t know what demons from my past are lurking around the corner that I may have to soon face. I also know that it’s important that people grieve the loss of their faith, childhood and a decade or two of their adult years. I was caught up in something from birth up until half a year before my 40th Birthday, that part of my life was too long and too intense to go away over night. The certainty that finds me comfort is knowing that I didn’t dash when my doubt began as a college age girl because I wanted to be sure of any choice that I would make about religion. I may not have chosen to come into it, but it was going to be up to me as to how and when I left it.


        • “I also know that it’s important that people grieve the loss of their faith,”

          Charity, I couldn’t agree more. I had already worked through the stages of grief once before, and I found myself having to do it again with the loss of my faith. The two stages I stayed in the longest were Anger and Depression. It was a long, grey Winter season for me. Cold, lonely, and isolated. But now I see Winter in another light.

          “In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in Winter enjoy.”
          ~ William Blake


  8. Hello Victoria!
    I enjoy autumn, especially because of football, but my favorite season is summer. I love the warmth of the sun and the longer periods of daylight. I also love love love Sam’s version of this wistful tune from Porgy and Bess:



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  11. “Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. 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


  12. OH! Hauntingly Sweet. I share in the AWE for AUtumnal shifts. I must away with the fairies to fetch mine from the bus…I shall return to your blog for more of the wonder that this moment allowed me. Thank you!


    • Hi s2g, my apologies for the delayed response. I was swamped with emails and comments this past week, and still catching up. 😀 So glad you stopped by and glad to know you share in the AWE of Autumn. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Nice to meet you.


      • The tentative dances that flurry through the small steps of putting into this other~world still make me a rare visitor. Where it is friendly…I am likely to wander again and thus find my way around all the buttons for new vistas. I appreciate the encouragement of your welcome.


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