Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A Nip in the Air

Autumn is definitely among us. There is a chill in the air and we have seen the leaves start to turn. We turned on the heat after getting *drenched* in a  seemingly endless freezing rain the other day. Yup, Autumn is definitely here.

We used to have a lovely wooden tree that was rather delicate that I used to decorate to celebrate each solstice (Summer and Winter) and each equinox (Spring and Autumn) because I like to keep up with the changing of the seasons and celebrate the wheel of the year, but also I just like to make stuff and decorate.

Sadly, as we were preparing to move it became abundantly clear that we could not take the wooden tree. It would never survive the move. It was too fragile. It wouldn’t fit into a box. All the bubble wrap in Arabia will not save this little tree (to paraphrase *very* loosely Lady MacBeth). So with a heavy heart I took it to a charity shop.

But we still wanted to do something to celebrate the seasons. Something big and something small. Something that didn’t take up much space, but something that filled up our lives.

Then it came to me. A tree doesn’t have to be 3D. A tree can be 2D. So I bought an inexpensive cork board and covered it with fabric I already had and made a felt tree and some seasonal leaves to go onto it.

click on it to see it in more detail.

I cleverly sewed thumbtacks into the back if it so that they would push into the cork without being seen. I was particularly proud of that idea.

It hangs on the landing and I can change the decorations for every season rather easily. That was the something small that didn’t take up much space bit. But what about the bigger, filling up our lives bit?

I have been thinking for a long time--what is the best bit about advent? For me, it is the ritual of reading a beloved seasonal poem as we sit down for a meal from December the first until Christmas. We have a running joke that I am going to sentimentally proclaim before every poem in a wistful voice, “Ohhh, this is one of my favourites!” Well of course it is. I chose all the poems so every one is a personal favourite!

So I decided to do the same for the other seasons. I would find a poem a day to read to count toward the solstice or equinox and I had better get cracking as September was only a few weeks away when I decided to do this so I searched and compiled a lovely list of poems and printed them off.   

It was a rousing success. It was a lovely, quiet moment before a meal to share some beautiful words and set our hearts towards the changes that lay ahead.

I leave you with my favourite poem (the favourite of the favourites, as it were) by Carl Sandburg.


I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper
Sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.
The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes,
New beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind,
And the old things go, not one lasts.

Happy Autumn everyone!