The change of seasons. I can't talk enough about how much it's my favorite time of year. Early morning chicken chores now involve putting on sweats and a jacket, our evening walks include long sleeves and sometimes a hat. I am in love with this shifting. In this ever increasing lifestyle of living disconnected from the world, this shift wakes up our senses and forces us to notice... to reconnect with the natural world.
I, like many, struggle of how to live with the conveniences/addictions of an iphone, this computer on which I'm writing this post, my car, plastic, etc. and my relationship with the great mother. I often experience cognitive dissonance as I "like" Tiny House Blog on Facebook and continue to live in a 2200 sq. ft. home with a family of three. Or when I take out the trash -- I rest assured knowing we've separated recycle and compost, yet every week our trash bin is still full and I know that it ends up in the landfill. Or how our commitment to cloth diapers has gotten a bit lackadaisical in recent months. 500 years (or longer or never) it takes for diapers to decompose. FIVE HUNDRED YEARS and I'm playing a part. I think this cognitive dissonance is why I am so moved by the shifting seasons.
It is a sacred time to reconnect... to slow down... to remember.... to respect. And I want more then ever to help guide Avi with his connection to our Home... our Earth. When he was just a few months old experiencing his first change of seasons... summer into fall... we would lay in the cool grass and gaze up at the trees above and I would talk with him about the changing leaves and the cooler weather to come. We would walk and I would point out the dying back of plants and the squirrels busying themselves - readying for winter. When the first snow fell, we prolonged bedtime to let him experience a snowflake on his cheek. When his first spring was arriving we paid heed to the buds, blossoms, and leaves emerging. We watched the naked tree branches slowly dress into their spring and summer collections. He is learning the names of trees, plants, flowers, bugs, birds, wildlife, and I am so thrilled in his excitement.
Last week we were playing outside and Avi was throwing his sidewalk chalk. I was trying to decide how to shift his play into something different. (While throwing chalk isn't so bad, it's not my favorite use of chalk). Suddenly, I had an idea. I ran inside and grabbed an empty egg carton, cut off the top and brought it to Avi. "Avi, look what Ema has for you... a treasure box. Shall we find treasures?", I asked him. His face lit up and soon we were playing together looking for treasures.
Can you find a yellow leaf?
Another rock smaller than that one?
Some purple lavender flowers?
What other treasures should we find?
A tomato? If we want to find a tomato, where should we look?
A lemon balm leaf?
This went on and on.... after we had found a dozen treasures, we talked about them, making comparisons in size, shape, color, function, taste. I was actively involved as a parent and he was actively involved in discovering things about the natural world. When we were all done, I asked Avi if we should take some pictures of his treasure box. Then he went in the house and grabbed two wooden bowls from his play kitchen area. "One for Avi. One for Ema. Treasure boxes", he said. And we walked to the park to find more treasures.
We welcome Autumn!