My grandmother absolutely loved when the leaves changed colors in the fall. Granted it takes a lot longer down here in Texas for that to happen, but she made a sort of I spy game of pointing out the first scarlet-hued leaves when the change began. It was an activity she thoroughly enjoyed and one that she passed down to me. I always search for a few red leaves at the start of the season to bring inside as both an honor to her and a reminder of the cyclical nature of life.
During the past few years I’ve started adding other little bits of nature to my autumnal ritual. I’ll take a walk with the intention to slow down and open my eyes to everything around me. I’ll inspect all of the fallen leaves, twigs, acorns, and pine cones. I’ll close my eyes and try to remember the scent of the air and the feeling of dried leaves crunching underfoot. If I can, I take off my shoes and place my bare feet in the grass to connect to the earth and welcome a sense of grounding and stability. And when I’m ready, I gather a few things to carry back home both as an invitation to the new season and for a bit of earthy inspiration.
What follows is a recipe for my autumn ritual if you would like to partake in your own version. Use my words as a guide and expand from there making it uniquely your own.
Find a small lightweight basket or sack. This is what you’ll put your bits and bobs in so it needs to be light enough to carry easily.
Seek out an area for your walk. It could be as close as your backyard or a favorite patch of woods you drive, walk, or ride to.
Close your eyes, take a few breaths, send some gratitude to Mother Nature.
Open your eyes and take in your surroundings. Walk slowly with intention. Look down at the ground and up at the trees. Notice perhaps what is changing and what is steadfast.
Begin to gather what speaks to you. Perhaps you are visually driven and pick up things that are pleasing to your eye. Or maybe you are memory driven and choose things that hold a deeper meaning for you. Pick up as much or as little as you want.
Before you end your walk, remove your shoes and place your bare feet on the earth. This is especially helpful if you tend to struggle with anxiety as it will provide a sense of grounding.
When you are ready to leave, close your eyes once more and take a few breaths. Create an intention for the current season.
Upon arriving home, pick out a vessel for your items. It could be a basket, dish, glass jar, or a spot on a bookshelf. Lastly, find them a place in your home.