We are deep into the beautiful season of Autumn. The days are flying by (sometimes) and other days drag on. But here we are, already at the end of October. Halloween is happening. Thanksgiving is almost upon us. Then winter and a whirlwind of holidays.
I want to slow down and enjoy this time as much as I can. One way to do this is to bring nature inside, go outside more, and be willing to explore in nature not only despite the change in weather but because of the change in weather. This does not need to entail gigantic displays or complicated decorations that don’t work for the season of life you’re in (I’m looking at you toddler moms).
Why We Need to Consider the Seasons and Bringing Nature Inside:
- We are part of what is being referred to as “the inside generation”
- Toxicity of indoor air
- Disconnect on so many levels right now
- A return to basics
- Supporting your body’s natural rhythms
What Bringing Nature Inside & Connecting with the Seasons Looks Like:
Chances are you’re already doing it on some level. But I want to encourage you to shift from the stores to tell us what season it is and instead feeling and seeing that shift in the natural world by focusing on what is happening right outside our windows and doors.
How We Can Bring Nature Inside This Autumn:
Create a space in your home for your intentional nature mission. So it doesn’t look like leaves all over your house.
- Set up a nature table/display:
- At the entry table (can be a display or simply a vase or bowl next to the front door—something you can notice as you come and go)
- On your kitchen table
- A wreath on your front door
- Natural fall scents that you diffuse or bring into your home (like cinnamon bundles)
- Once you know where you’re going to put your nature goodies, go outside:
- By yourself on a solo walk or with your kids
- What do you notice? What does your child notice when you’re together?
- Point out what you see. Model curiosity and observation.
- Collect leaves. Compare colors and shapes. Tell them what you’re doing. “I’m looking for leaves we can display at the front door. Maybe some that are really colorful and not too big…can you help me find some?”
- Deep breaths of fresh fall air (if that’s possible…or go seek it out if you live someplace with what feels like endless summer)
- Hike in the woods
- Walk in your yard…what leaves are changing? Which ones aren’t? Do you know the names of the plants? There are apps for that.
- In other states
- In other countries
- Curiosity inside:
- Nature documentaries
- Doing your own research
- Look up photos of amazing fall leaf displays
- Ask family members who aren’t near you what autumn looks like where they live
- Forage or Buy:
- Buy seasonal flowers (from a local source if you can)
- Buy wreaths
- Buy seasonal foods
- What to do? DIY:
- Host a wreath or decoration making workshop
- Do a Pinterest search for nature crafts
- Dip leaves (waxed leaves)
- Start gathering pine tree bunches or pinecones
- Offer to do a greenery swap with a friend
- Collect one thing a day out in nature and bring it inside
- Bring your outdoor plants in for the winter or buy some new house plants
- Press leaves or flowers in books
- Decoupage leaves onto canvases
- Carve or display pumpkins
- Hang dried oranges
- Cinnamon wrapped candles
- Or cinnamon stick bunches
- Heat scents and spices on the stove (simmering potpourri…cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, apples, orange peel, cranberries)
- Toast or roast nuts (to eat or craft or display in jars while waiting to eat them)
- Dried colorful corn
- Dried wheat
- Leaf garland or strung on a string
- Tape leaves to a mirror
- Create a rotating centerpiece for the table
- Bring in seasonal foods
- Find a way to take your trip to the apple orchards home with you
- Forage clippings to display in vases/rotate each week (or as often as you like)
- And If You Have Kids, Create & Celebrate Together (And Call It Learning):
- Look up fall nature craft ideas
- Paint with natural items
- Stamp with natural items
- You can decoupage almost anything
- Make pinecone or leaf critters
- Hand turkeys
- Paint rocks
- Make leaf lanterns
- Leaf mobile
- Punch holes in leaves and make natural confetti
- Painting or carving pumpkins
- Beeswax candles
- Create seed pictures
- Make bookmarks out of leaves and flowers (with clear contact paper or glue and paper)
Or my favorite is to identify one plant in your yard every season and notice it each day. Name it. Point it out to your kids. Notice the small details. The shape of the leaves. Make it something you study for the season. Get to know it so well that when the next season comes, you are so familiar with it that you won’t forget it. Regard it—intentionally look at it, smell it, write about it, paint it, forage it, bring it inside, figure out how to propagate it.
Read autumn poetry. One of my favorites is “Come Little Leaves” by George Cooper. Read autumn books. Bring in the season as often as you can. And do it in a way that holds meaning for you and your family. Whatever makes you feel more connected with the autumn and the changes happening right outside your front door. At the end of the day, you, too, are changing with each season. Taking time to slow down and notice the changes around you can help you see the changes within you.
Connection with yourself, connection with your kids, connection with the season & nature.
I hope that helps. I’ll try to share some ways I’m doing this in my house over on Instagram @loribethauldridge
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