Autumnal Equinox

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Did you have a good day? We enjoy marking the passing seasons and the Autumnal Equinox with it’s gentle light, morning mist and crisp Autumnal scents is no exception.

This year we have a new member of the family to help us celebrate

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We are struggling to name him; so far we have had Dr Kenneth Blackberry, Jinx, Vortigern, Jonty, Roy, Autumn. The list literally goes on and on. Any suggestions?

We kept our celebrations simple.

We discussed how the plants & trees appear to sleep through Autumn and Winter, but how actually there is development under the ground, the rest & rejuvenation that allows the tree to produce flowers and fruit again next year.

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We talked about how we too can plant seeds within ourselves; seeds of gentleness, kindness, courage and bravery.

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And then we each chose what we wanted to be growing within ourselves over the months ahead

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We ended up with two pots, filled with spring time bulbs – filled with gorgeous intent.

We also took good care of our bird friends.

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And if any hedgehog friends would like to visit, they are most welcome too.

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We walked at dusk in the meadow and along the edge of the woodlands. We came home and read some Equinox classics – The Secret Of Saying Thanks and We Gather Together.

We gave thanks to God for all we are blessed with.

Hello Harvest Moon?

Last night was Harvest Moon. We set off in eager anticipation, packed up with our read alouds, snacks and science notebooks in which we could record our observations of the Harvest moon.

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We have walked under the Harvest Moon every year without fail since the girls were tiny; it is a much anticipated part of our year and never missed.

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We were treated to a spectacular sunset as I sat and read to the girls. I brought a poetry book and ‘Hello Harvest Moon by Ralph Fletcher’. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! It is a luxurious, lilting read that hightens the anticipation of small (and not-so-small !) people for the night ahead..

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The girls played in the woods, hunting dragons and wood faeries until we headed off to a better spot to view the moon rising in the east.

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The Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the equinox. It is so called because it allowed farmers to continue working on bringing in the harvest after dark, due to it’s wonderful brightness. The Harvest Moon hangs low & full in the late summer sky, ripe like the Harvest named in it’s honour. It’s appearance is due to the seasonal tilt of the earth and therefore the light coming from the moon is passing through a denser atmosphere, than if it were directly overhead. 

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We made it to a good ‘moon watching’ spot, but sadly the Harvest Moon kept her mystery and remained hidden behind cloud cover. This was the first year we could not see her full glory. We were so disappointed, but thankful for the walk we had, which was so thrilling on the way back – there is nothing quite like being in the woods in the dark!

I fumbled around and managed to pick some Rose Hips – and sustained a few pricked fingers! We headed home to hot chocolate & thick buttered toast. (my not-so-secret hot chocolate tip is to use Nutella – gorgeous!) Then my tired-out girls dropped into bed (always dress children in their pyjamas under the waterproofs for night time walks!!!) And mummy & daddy were not long after…

Evening Walk

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Earlier in the week we took an evening stroll and were rewarded by the most spectacular sunset.

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I find something just so positive about the setting sun. So gentle, but energetic at the same time; inspiring of my creativity.

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A time to remember the day; remember and rejoice over the good things that have happened and to seek healing for the not-so-good.

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Weekend Walk 8 September

No outdoor photos today – I left my camera at home!

A beautiful day for walking. The sky was bright blue this morning and there was a definite chill in the air. We left home late morning & the skies were steely grey and beautiful

The fruits are ripening out and about now. I got a haul of Haws which I plan to dry out for winter.

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Gleaming jewel-like Elder berries

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The Elder are destined for Elderberry Syrup.

I spent a happy, quiet time stripping the berries. I resisted the strong urge to listen to Radio 4 and spent the time thinking about how fruitful my own year has been and the seeds I wish to grow for the year ahead. We have faced large challenges as a family over the last year or two and I pondered how I have been changed by those experiences…

The activity of mindless, repeating activity does wonders for my wellbeing. No wonder I enjoy knitting so very much. Keeping my hands busy with an activity they just know how to do frees up my mind for pondering. It does the spirit good. Allows me to commune with God. Think through both big and little issues. Listen to my intuition…

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The ingredients for the syrup all mixed and ready to stand overnight.

The Recipe comes from Glennie Kindred’s book ‘Letting In The Wild Edges’ which I could not recommend more. It is a fantastic book for those who love to be outdoors and celebrate the Wheel of the Year. Glennie also has the recipe for the syrup on her website. She writes; “Elderberry syrup is wonderful for chesty coughs and sore throats. It boosts the immune system and when taken at the first sign of a cold can prevent it from happening altogether!”

( Not ) Back To School Traditions

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Yesterday was our first day back at lessons since the Summer break.

As always, we had our traditions to follow:

The annual photo shoot

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A new daily school verse

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Help us to do the things we should,
To be to others kind and good;
In all we do, in work or play,
To grow more loving every day.

Rebecca Weston – 1890

Our morning was simple; more of an easing into the new end-of-Summer rhythm, than of serious school work.

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We began to work on our individual ‘Wheel of the Year’ that we shall each be keeping

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As always, we had Alphabet Soup for lunch. This was followed by a quick trip for the dentist for Rose, to check her over after The Accident.

Back home for our ‘Back to School’ tea party; Gingerbread biscuits and spiced apple juice (recipe below). The girls ate and I read some lovely, simple end of summer nature stories.

It was a good day….

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Spiced Apple Juice

Pour 1 bottle of fresh apple juice into a pan.

Add about 5 whole cloves and a cinnamon stick.

Warm gently without allowing to simmer or boil.

Serve.

(We always add a little water to our juice)