Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween and Fall

Our weather here in Wisconsin has been pretty sad lately. A lot of rain, clouds and very little sun peaking out. But today, for a short time, while the sun was peeking out and it wasn't so damp, Sam and I went for a walk. As soon as Sam saw sunshine through the windows, he said, "Mom go outside", "Go walk, Mommy".

I love to take a deep breath of cool fall air to wake me up and refresh my senses. As we walked Sam kept telling me to watch the leaves, "Watch leaf Mommy!" I would tell him the leaves are falling because it is Fall and soon it will be Winter. "Snow, Mommy!", said with much more enthusiasm then most of us would muster. Sam would often try to catch the falling leaves and when he was lucky enough to snatch one he would bring it to me, "Look Mommy, pretty". Sam went up to one of the tree's and gave it a hug and told it "It's okay" as if the tree was crying as it shed it's leaves.

Sam asked me to follow him down a path in the woods, "Come here, Mommy, come with me". How could I resist! As we walked I heard a rustling and out from the trees a large deer ran in front of us. Sam said "Hi deer", "Run, run, run....jump" his smile went from ear to ear. We walked a little further and I heard the familiar sound of wild turkeys, we peeked through the bushes to the next clearing and saw the whole family. Sam immediately began counting them, he counted 9. The turkeys ran deeper into the woods making all kinds of noises, Sam yelled "Gobble, gobble" after them. Sam found an old log and told me to "Sit down, Mommy, right here". Out from the log came a squirrel who scampered away through the leaves. He was quiet as he looked around, taking everything in, he looked up at the sky and down at the log, he looked at the surrounding trees and he listened to the noises only found within the woods. He let out a deep breath, a breath that sounded of pure contentment. He looked at me and said just one word, "Fall".

I don't think I could have taught him the concept of Fall any better than our walk today. I've often read stories about the seasons or used pictures and magnets to demonstrate the concept, but honestly Sam has taught me time and again that living the experience is so much more powerful.
I could have been cleaning my house, doing laundry or sitting on my computer but instead Sam encouraged me to simply experience and enjoy Fall. These are the lessons he strives to teach...taking time together to walk through the leaves, breathe the fresh air, visit the forest animals and smile at the sunshine. This child exudes peace and contentment...a very strong lesson that all of us need to learn.

We went inside and read some autumn poems, here was Sam's favorite:

"My leaves are turning crimson," the giant oak tree said,
"It's almost time these children should seek their winter's bed,
But how they still cling to me and gleam with crimson hue,
They truly are more lovely than cirrus clouds of blue.
"And now throughout the forest - list! hear their voices ring,
But 'tis in tones of sadness and sighing they now sing -
'Alas! 'tis gone, fair summer, and winter's reign is near,
He cruelly strips the forest of all her summer cheer
By killing all her lovely leaves and likewise flowers gay
And driving all her fairy folk to homes of far away.'"

Happy Fall everyone!