Saturday, September 04, 2010

The Gifts of Nature on A Table

This morning I am filled with gratitude for windows open, temperatures in the low 60's and a feeling that I have not felt for months, coolness. Natural coolness, not the artificially made coolness that comes from air conditioners, but that wonderful early fall kind of cool that is scented with the wonderful aroma of leaves, tree bark, freshly turned soil, a hint of hay and the wonderful tiny bits of good smells that arrive with each breeze.
The birds sing and chirp right outside the open window. There is no need for music to be playing on the stereo, for right beside me is the most beautiful music. I hear crickets in the background keeping a steady rhythm, with an occasional frog croaking out a beat that suits this song perfectly.
Having the windows open has inspired me to go hunting outside for things to put on a fall nature table. Nature tables are wondrous things to have in your home. When you have small children at home or grandchildren visiting, a nature table becomes a source of wonderment for them and a teaching tool. A nature table is meant to be played with.
Our oak trees are heavy with acorns which has given me the idea to make some felted acorns to put in a bowl for the nature table. Even if you are not into felting, you can make these by purchasing some small wool felted balls that are sold in some craft store, but making them is so much fun. There is a great video on YouTube on how to make these delightful little felted acorns. Here is the link.... How to Make Felted Acorn Ornaments
This same felting technique can be used to make felted pumpkins. I have plenty of pumpkin color wool roving that will be just the right color for that.
Back to school time always brings me back to so many delightful memories of our 17 years of homeschooling and now, once again with grandchildren that visit often, I have the joy of doing many of those same crafts and decorations once again.
The Nature Table and so many of the concepts we enjoy in our home came from the thinking of Rudolf Steiner. Its as though he put to words many of the thoughts and actions we hold dear. As in many thought systems in the world, we do not agree with everything he wrote about but so much of it speaks right to my heart.
I am a big fan of the Waldorf education style and used it for the early years of our homeschool with wonderful results.
We still incorporate many of the aspects of Rudolf Steiner's thoughts on learning in our home since one is meant to learn their entire life.
This weekend we will be gathering items for our nature table as we embark on a hiking adventure. So thankful for the blessing of cooler weather as it once again allows us to hike the wilderness !


Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I love the idea of a nature table! I love acorns and just in my own yard could find acorns, sweet gum fruit, milk weed pods, holly berries, dark privet berries, rose hips, old nests, probably wasp nests too........Lots more, I think.....

I think we who grew up in places where we had easy access to the natural world and it was valued, are very fortunate. It gives such joy and is so healing. It is a gift from God and not meant to be ignored nor harmed because of ignorance.

Have you read this book: Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv? He really thinks exposure to the world of the woods and fields can be therapy that helps even with things like attention deficit disorder, yet most kids nowadays get far too little chance to experience this.

Patty said...

Hi Kristi,
I actually posted a link about Richard Louv last year, about the beginning of August I think. I am so with him on the subject.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Ha! You may be the reason I bought the book in the first place! I am so glad that my children love the outdoors as much as I do and their children get to spend a lot of time outside too.

Morning's Minion said...

My beloved grandfather, who had a sixth grade formal education, made a nature table for me when I was a girl. He cut boards to fit the top of a metal frame rescued from somewhere on the farm, and placed the "table" on the front porch right next to a window and well away from any rain or snow that might blow in. During the winter when I wasn't exploring the fields and woods as much, he placed whole heads of homegrown sunflowers on the table for the birds.

Every single night before I go to sleep and every morning before I hop out of bed, the same prayer in on my lips.  Of course I pray for m...