Something I have been trying to do more over the past year or so is to pay attention to nature. When I think back to my childhood, my memories are very wrapped up in the seasons and the turning of the year, and nature. Little things like filling up jam jars with rose petals and water to make ‘perfume’ in the summer, squeezing between the rose bushes to gather the best petals, to waiting for dark and wrapping up warm to go out to the school bonfire party, watching my breath like smoke in the air.
The more I read about Steiner and Waldorf education, the more I recognise from my own childhood. I went to a conventional school, but at home we enjoyed simple pleasures, and exploring nature was just something that we did. We didn’t have a nature table per se, but I always seemed to have pockets of pinecones and conkers or acorn cups, can even now never walk past a lavender bush without trailing my hands through it, and love watching for the spiderwebs of autumn jewelled with dew in the mornings.
I have definitely been more aware of the phases of the moon this year, and had a note in my diary that it was the autumn equinox this Saturday past. On one hand it is a gentle prompt to really start getting things cosy, as from now on, there will be more dark than daylight. Whilst I love long summer evenings as much as anyone, but dark evenings lit with candles, snuggly blankets on the sofa and a tasty stew bubbling on the stove have a charm of their own.
I wasn’t expecting quite such a sudden and definite change in the weather though – on Saturday it was sunny and warm, almost hot…a lovely Indian Summer day. Sunday was as different as day to night – cold and grey and blustery and wet. I went to London to visit The Cake and Bake Show at Earls Court. It should have been a lovely show, and I did enjoy going, but they had sold far too many tickets, and as a result it was too crowded to see anything very easily, and I spent a lot of time getting very jostled about. However, we did some wonderful cakes made for a competition on a beach theme, Mary Berry from an extreme distance, and heard lots of shrieks when Paul Hollywood appeared on the stage!
Alas on the way home, we found that Earls Court Station was not where we left it (in other words, somehow we got lost!) and walked for ages in the wind and rain before catching a bus, then two tubes to get back to Liverpool Street. I got home bedraggled and tired, as there was also a bus replacement service on, to find our living room alight with candles, a hot bath running, and a cup of tea. What a lovely homecoming.
I went into work early this morning as I had lots to get done…I was at my desk not long after 7:30am. I came home at 4:30am, which means that whereas usually I would still be at my desk right now, I am at home drinking tea, with a gammon joint roasting in the oven to be eaten with parsley sauce later. It is times like this that I could not agree with Jane Austen more when she said ‘there is nothing like staying at home for real comfort!’