The days become shorter, temperatures drop, and leaves begin to fall in earnest. In Autumn it is said “every leaf is a flower,” so take a moment to drink in the full majesty of each tree in fall flower, for without the magical combination of warm days mixed with cool nights, these beauties are few and far between this year, and the drab colors of winter will soon be upon us.
Children learn with their bodies, and cooler temperatures invite much joyful heaping, rolling and crunching of fallen leaves. Outdoor play is crucial everyday, and leaves are nature’s toys of the season, toys you get to leave outside and don’t have to put away at the end of the day.
While vigorous outdoor play is necessary everyday, it’s important to stretch a child’s ability to observe closely, and to sit in quiet contemplation.
Have you ever watched a leaf fall all the way to the ground? Watch closely and you will see that they almost always land on open ground. Watch when they first begin to fall – sometimes they drop like a pebble, sometimes they drift crazily, sometimes they twirl in gentle circles all the way to the ground. And then, just as they are about to land, they do a funny thing: they hop over to place themselves carefully on an open piece of ground.
Why they do this is not completely understood, and it’s a lovely practice to take just a moment every autumn, to sit in quiet contemplation with a child, a baby, or someone you love, to watch one leaf after another fall, all the way to the ground, and wonder at the magic and mystery of it all.