Are you doing something to celebrate the arrival of Autumn, today? Fall is my favorite season; it always has been. There's just something magical about this time of year. You've heard the term Magic Hour, referring to the first and last hours of sunlight, where it almost seems as though the air is laced with silver? That's how I feel about Autumn. I think it is the year's Magic Hour. The air just has a certain magical quality about it. It's almost palpable.
It also brings with it some more of my favorite things: sweaters, beautifully colored falling leaves, hot cocoa and fresh pressed apple cider (not to mention the Fall drinks at Starbucks!), and a shift from the outer light of Spring and Summer to the inner light of Fall and Winter. It's a time of reflecting, a time of deep thoughts. A time of finding light within ourselves. A time for allowing that light to shine for others, a theme that repeats itself often throughout the two seasons. Think of all those who volunteer at homeless shelters and women's shelters during Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Salvation Army Santas on the street corner ringing their bells. The numerous Angel Trees you see at Christmastime. How many of you have ever adopted a family in need for the holidays and left anonymous gifts for them on their doorstep? Autumn and Winter are very much the seasons of giving, and I believe it's because we instinctively start to look inward during these seasons.
N will be four in November so, while he's still quite young, I think he's old enough to begin to understand some of this. We're starting today by celebrating the Autumn Equinox, using the lovely Ayla's guide, found HERE. She has broken down the story of Sir George (I like this better than referring to him as St. George, for various reasons that are too much to explain here) slaying the dragon (a story of looking inward for courage and strength in order to face our own dragons) into bite sized pieces for each day of the week between now (Autumn Equinox) and next weekend, culminating in the telling of the whole story all together for Michaelmas. She also has suggested activities to go with each portion of the story. Tonight I'll tell him about how the people of the land (I haven't quite decided where the story will be located) are busy harvesting the crops that they've toiled over all spring and summer, and to celebrate the harvest, they have a big feast. To go along with it, after the story, N will help me make a stew full of fresh local veggies (we've been sick, so we weren't able to get to the farmer's market this week, but I'm going to make a run to Whole Foods, where they have a pretty large selection of local produce), and grass fed beef (plus a little pot with just veggies for me, the crazy vegetarian). While we're making the stew, we'll talk about where the vegetables and beef came from, how they're raised, how they're harvested, how they make it from seed and calf to our big pot simmering on the stove.
Tonight, after our bedtime routine, we'll read Giving Thanks, by Jonathan London. I had planned on reading a different book for this day, but the sickness that's going around our house prevented me from getting to the library and I think this one will work just fine (it's all about being thankful for animals and nature). We may read Apple Cider Making Days as well, simply because it's one of N's favorites right now and it shows how apples are harvested and made into cider, so it's pretty fitting as well.
So, what are you doing to celebrate Fall?
Much Love and Kindness,
*I had planned on doing an original water color painting to go along with each portion of the story, but again this
debilitating monster of a cold has prevented that from happening (yet). Perhaps I'll find the energy to do it tomorrow. If I do, I'll update with the artwork.