One of my favorite blogs is SouleMama. Though I have to imagine it’s often far from the case in her home, her blog resonates a serenity I crave many days with my three and the comings and goings and nonstop noise-noise-noise of it all. So, nearly every morning I spend a moment with my coffee and Amanda Soule, enjoying her projects, marveling at how she manages to do so much, and laughing my butt off at the thought of me trying to do about 20% as much in any given day or night. I have periodically wished I was the sort of person who could stay up late in the nights creating this or that, driven by a fever to complete a project, but… I seem to enjoy sleep a little more than that.
However, there is one idea I have incorporated into our home. She calls it their Nature Table, a place where the odd pine cone, shell, rock, etc. finds its way inside to be enjoyed. We refer to the idea as “Collecting.” Over the summer beautiful shells greeted us as we entered the house and both the older kids really enjoyed contributing their new finds. Most everyone enjoys beach combing, but it seemed to add something, taking the time to really admire a shape or the mother of pearl inside an otherwise unremarkable shell.
Now that fall is firmly upon us, we’re on the look for what Mother Nature gives as her finale to the growing season. And there is so much! Lemme tell you, that old broad can really bring down the house, so to speak!
By the library we’ve found magnolia seed pods with bright red seeds peeking out and branches with red and orange leaves and seed pods. At the park we discovered the pepper berries, which are both spicy smelling and a surprising red against the yellow leaves.
We also found long seed pods that curved and curled, rough and knobbly bark, and maple seeds, which can fly like helicopters…. and of course all the leaves! The kids have delighted in creating the display, which changes almost as often as they walk by it.
Often we’re so overwhelmed by all that we must do every given day. It’s been a great treat to slow down, look around, and really take in and appreciate everything around us, and to watch change as it happens.
I’m not sure how we’ll collect winter, as puddles are hard to capture. However, something tells me, with open eyes and a bit of patience, we’ll do a fine job of it.