Autumn is a time for quiet contemplation, especially for gardeners. It’s a reminder that to every season, there is a purpose, a time to plant and time to reap.

A garden has always been a metaphor for life, and we apply its terms liberally to human existence. Early bloom, early rot. Sowing wild oats. Come to fruition. The bloom is off the rose. Every rose has its thorns. Like a skunk at a garden party, garden variety, no bed of roses, a late bloomer, shrinking violet, gild the lily, nip in the bud, a tough row to hoe. To call a spade a spade or to lead someone down the garden path. We intuitively know what it all means.

And nowhere is the garden metaphor mightier than in Charmaine Aserappa’s small, but powerful, book "Japanese Garden." Long a mainstay on my coffee table, it’s not simply decorative but a teaching tale about gardens and life, a Desiderata, so to speak. While I don’t have all the elements mentioned in my own garden, its simple words and woodcuts are a place for peaceful meditation, much like a garden itself. The brief pages reveal nothing but universal truths, no matter what your belief system. For instance, consider the following:

Be the tree. Grant shelter.

Be the moth. See the light.

Be the lantern. Guide the lost.

Be the grass. Grow back when trod upon.

Be the moss. Temper strength with kindness and mercy.

Be the pebble. Let time smooth and shape you.

Be the leaf. Fall gracefully when it’s time to go.

Or better yet, be the mealy bug.

Buck all efforts to get rid of you.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at

The Jester’s Feast

The Order of Troubadours gathered for an elegant brunch in the City Club ballroom. Organized by co-chairwomen Maggie Burts Justus and Judy Mahtook, all was pomp and circumstance as King Richard LXV Coeur de Lion Brian Blanchard and Queen Berengaria Catherine Matt began their adieus, making way for incoming royalty, King Richard LXVI Stanley Blackstone and Queen Berengaria Alexa Gray. Also on the royal court: new Sir Kenneth Jon Leleux and Lady Edith Selia Abshire, with an additional character this season, Creighton Crain as Sir William. Enjoying the Sunday jazz were Susan Blackstone, last year’s Lady Edith Madeline Mahtook, Miles and Glenda Matt and gentleman Peter John. “My speech is basically ‘thank you’ with a lot of names,” said his outgoing Majesty Brian Blanchard. “My wife is telling me to quit pacing back and forth.”

Catwalk Capers

Moss Motors BMW hosted Nola Fashion Week’s Romey Roe for the debut of “Gowns, Ghouls, and Giving,” a portion of which will benefit animal rescues. Guests were treated to Champagne and cupcakes before viewing Roe’s new Strangers collection, a dark sequel to his Evil Queen designs. The gowns and gathering were a fashion prelude to Halloween, and beguiling themselves were Kay Ouzts, Jennifer Woodson, pretty Pamela Stover, lady in leather Mella Viera and UL-Lafayette professor of culture and clothing Jackie Robeck. “I taught him (Roe) everything he knows,” she laughed. What we loved: Robeck’s Kate Spade tote, Woodson’s Betsy Johnson bulldog clutch and Moss manager Mitch Stover, as always.

Opening Night

Lauren-Reilly Eliot Co. opened its production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” to a sold-out crowd at Cite des Arts. All was just as you’d expect backstage opening night, while in the lobby, Stage Backers and guests enjoyed cocktails and more before getting their Stella and Stanley fix. You can catch Tennessee Williams’ iconic tale of New Orleans dysfunction through the end of October.