Sunday, September 02, 2012

A Little Something to Get You Thinking! Living Our Lives by the Rhythm of the Seasons


(Please ignore the fact that the font and font size are all wonky. It's driving me nuts. I'll figure this one out asap!)

I just adore this quote. For one thing, at least to me, golden fall leaves are as beautiful as flowers. 
In another, more profound way though, this saying reminds me that you can have more than one beginning. 

Fall is my very, most Faaaaaaaaaavorite season. I live for fall. I really do! I think about it all year long, and the promise of fall keeps me going. Autumn with it's gorgeous warm colors, the smoky smell in the air. The pumpkins and cider and holidays. It is all so wonderful.

For me, Autumn IS my beginning! The start of my first, followed by second favorite seasons of the year.
Which brings me to a concept that I would like to explore in time to come........ living our lives by the rhythm of the seasons. 

This is something I've always done to one degree or another. Do you also look to fall as the beginning of the school year, winter as a time for holidays, spring for thawing and growth, and summer as a happy free-for-all?  Most of us do live by the rhythm of the seasons in many ways, without even realizing it. 

What if though, as a lesson in mindfulness and living consciously, we REALLY went about our days by the rhythm of the seasons!?

It's a fun, beautiful and inspiring way to really make a person slow down and have moments to reflect.
 I hope we talk more about incorporating living by the seasons into our lives. It's part of my resolve to live more purposefully and in the moment. 
Here are some links and resources to get you started learning more about Living by the Seasons!

1.) The Rhythm of Family :Discovering a Sense of Wonder Through the Seasons

This sweet book is by Amanda Soule. (Click on the photo for the book's link.)  It was one of my first introductions into living seasonally,and an always present go-to book on my night stand. Amanda has written  two other books on creativity and creating, and she is the author of a very popular personal blog; SouleMama.

Her website chronicled the lives of Amanda, her husband and their then four children (now five) as they moved into a turn of the century farmhouse in rural Mane. She continues to blog about life in nature and works in self-sufficiency. The Rhythm of the Family is broken into twelve chapters, one for each month, and offers essays by both Amanda and her husband Stephen, meditating on the experience that each month brings. There are numerous seasonal crafts and recipes and fun ideas. It's a great read cover to cover, and then again as you welcome in a new month. Which is what I do!

Oh, and FINALLY, Amanda is also the editor of Taproot magazine which: "celebrates local living through writing, photography and the arts, both fine and domestic."  You might want to take a look, it looks like a nice read.

The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons

Ok, another "Rhythm".....(it must be a trend), is the fantastic online magazine Rhythm of the Home!

This was the very first time that I really started thinking about what it meant to institute true seasonal living
into your life. Rhythm of the Home offers all kinds of writings and projects, crafts, art, cooking and other suggestions on living season to season with your family. There are four editions a year, and I am eagerly waiting for the Fall edition's arrival! Browse through the four organized sections: Warmth, Play, Celebration and Connection. They also keep past editions online as resources.

Oh Kinfolk, how I love thee........Kinfolk is a GORGEOUS magazine that can be bought in hard copy, or for the iPad. While it's not specifically about living seasonally, Kinfolk speaks in seasonal tales, and embodies all of the principals of living simply and mindfully.

This is their manifesto:

Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings. We recognize that there is something about a table shared by friends, not just a wedding or once-a-year holiday extravaganza, that anchors our relationships and energizes us. We have come together to create Kinfolk as our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love.

Every element of Kinfolk—the features, photography, and general aesthetics—are consistent with the way we feel entertaining should be: simple, uncomplicated, and less contrived. Kinfolk is the marriage of our appreciation for art and design and our love for spending time with family and friends. 

DO NOT miss their videos. Oh those videos! (They call them rather "films" of course.)  Each one is shot so beautifully. I can't get past it.

Finally, there as so many lovely personal blogs and websites out there, that share this philosophy, and are a joy to read. Some of my favorite are:

Little Acorn Learning was started by a woman/Mother/teacher named Eileen (Her personal blog here.) Eileen wanted to provide a nature based education that let "children be children" without much of the modern day pressures of "getting ahead". So, she started a home childcare center that delivered just that! Eileen also developed fantastic holistic, nature-based, monthly and seasonal teaching guides. You can find everything HERE!
I love, love love her enrichment guides and highly recommend them. Noah and I used her June guide over the summer, it was fantastic! The enrichment guides are chock full of activities, crafts, songs, stories, poems, games and recipes. So many fun things to do after school and on rainy days to celebrate the season and month you are in. They also come with two lovely songs for each enrichment. I highly recommend them.

All I have to say is Bliss Beyond Naptime's, uber creative, zen-Mama Master Kathy Stowell CRACKS ME UP!!!
I love Kathy so much. If you are ever feeling down, stop by her blog for some fun inspiration, or better yet, watch one of her little video messages. She's hilarious and uplifting! :)

Kathy runs her site to encourage other women and mothers to find their own bliss and live creatively with their families.. She offers e-courses in sewing AND....another one of my faves.... Simplicity Parenting! 
(More later, but this summer I took an online Simplicity Parenting seminar.)
Kathy has also penned (or rather typed) the e-book: The Bliss Filled Mama - Self Care for Souleful Mothering.
She always always makes me smile, and I think she will make you smile too! :)
Thanks Kathy!

It's getting later, so I'd better wrap this up. As we start the month of September, I'm going to focus on all things in this new shift from summer to fall. The start of school, the beginning of (hopefully) cooler, and shorter days. Crisp red apples, maybe a hay ride or two. I'll plan my fall decorations, and step up the crochet work for the cold days ahead. What will you do this month to make it special!?

Until next time.....

Have an attitude of gratitude for thanksgiving and always.

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