Saturday, June 13, 2009

Jack Frost

It almost feels like Mother Nature has turned off her lights and gone to bed.....Those glorious Autumn days are truly over. The brilliant reds, yellows and browns have gone, all sparkle has been erased, literally overnight! The shine has been replaced by rain, grey skies, muddy brown and muted earthy tones.

I cannot recall having witnessed such a dramatic change of season since leaving Switzerland, where the change of seasons is still very obvious. Living in the city one never quite gets a chance to see such a display of colors....unless you spend some time at the Botanical Gardens or drive regularly down St. Kilda Road, the two places where big, impressive trees delight you with such a display. But here in the country I feel the seasons still guide you with the rhythm of nature . Of course, we are particularly blessed with our garden, who puts on a very private seasonal show just for us....

So, one day in Autumn we saw this

The next day we woke up to this.....

The change is amazing and so appropriate. So we quickly pulled out our woolens, finished knitting some beanies, cardigans and socks, decorated our Nature table and started singing Winter songs. The kids are right into this, exited to pick the last colorful leaves, discover ice in the bird feeder in the mornings and calling out to Jack Frost....I just love so see how in tune they are with the rhythm of nature and thus with their own internal rhythm.

Their enthusiasm is my inspiration for exploring more of the ideas that seem to be some of the cornerstones of the Rudolf Steiner education. The notion of rhythm being one of them. Each season is marked with its own special verses, poems, songs and activities. Each day has its color, grain and planet. Each day flows like a wave of energetic outdoor play and gentle, quiet and almost meditative indoor play. And the children seem to thrive on this very set rhythm, naturally following it.
And I must say that since adapting some of these principles into our home life, our days do flow more seamlessly. Mealtimes are (almost) calm, tidy up time is fun and bedtime is becoming a welcome routine. The children participate happily, they know what is coming next and are therefore willing to cooperate with us. As opposed to me dragging them from the breakfast table to the room to get dressed, yelling at them to pack up their toys and their clothes (ok, I still do that, but I am working on it).
Anyway, back to Winter. And with that some hearty winter cooking.....well, not yet. I am not ready to get back into stews and casseroles just yet...
But before I will share some recipes I tried the last few weeks.

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