Be a collector and become a gatherer of all the surrounding beauties of this season. Bring these wonders indoors to heighten, enrich, and develop yourself and those who visit. Further, use and delight in this abundance of beauty provided by the natural world to beautify and to design a beautiful life.
In the season of fall, our family feels induced to fulfill our roles as collectors and harvesters. And gratefully, we bring our bounty home.
Not far from La Maison d’Etre, our urban homestead, stands a majestic, but neighborly, horse chestnut tree. As the children have grown from toddlers to teens, we have visited this great tree year after year, inspired by the fruits of its summer’s work. The prickly parcels produced by this tree have become a great gift of autumn. Annually, we gather these seedpods, ever intrigued by their offering. I am charmed by watching the husk of these horse chestnut fruits ripen and reveal their smooth, brown nut with a satin-like glimmer. It is like watching the continual opening of a gift that keeps on giving.
There are few things more beautiful than to fill our homes with an abundance of nature. Especially as we return to our homes from the day trips, getaways, and excursions of summer, we prepare and fluff our nests for the oncoming winter. We feel comforted and secure in laying up in store living and life-sustaining assets of both flora and fauna. And when we do, we introduce that which is alive into our own lives. Subsequently, we live more plentifully. Like a happy plant hosted in a melancholy place, the plant enthusiastically infuses and breathes life into the room, quickly transforming what was once somber into society.
Regrettably, many do not have access to the land and resources to grow for themselves large crops of fruits, nuts, seedlings, and branches. Fortunately, however, these fruits and foragings are readily available to all of us thanks to the regenerative favors of the natural world and the many dedicated farmers and cultivators who make these gifts of growing their everyday mission. Let us take full advantage of these kind assistances, for they become borrowed beauty to our benefit. When you see a beautiful leaf, perhaps on a daily walk, pick it up, take it home, and delight in its beauty for days to come. We would all do well to passionately bring the gifts of nature’s labor indoors.
As I recently visited my mother, I noticed a curious, spent, silken cocoon resting in a little container on her kitchen windowsill. She had displayed the collected cocoon with such distinction that its rare beauty beckoned me to examine it. It motioned for me to pick it up and to delight in the skill of its technique and artistry. No Matisse or Rodin could have been any more inspiring.
We all can practice this simple but meaningful accessorizing of our homes. It may be easily accomplished by merely selecting from a new crop of honey crisp apples and placing them in a bowl center stage. Not only do they beautify, but they are there to observe, appreciate, and remember recalled days of the satisfying flavor of their sweet tartness. Moreover, one could gather the beauty of branches, fascinating roots, or a myriad of colorful leaves, to stack or stage them with standing. Perhaps we may display the varying shapes and textures of humble nuts. Fill an earthen container with feathers. Pick pomegranates. Select stones. Gather gourds.
All of these simple harvestings will garner great vitality to supply our homes with the intriguing interest of the finest arts. So, when you see a beautiful leaf while ambling about, pick it up, take it home, and delight in its beauty for days to come.
A further testament to our attention and desire to bring the fruits of the season indoors is manifest in the many outstanding products and materials of home décor that are available to us to satisfy our longings. Exquisite motifs of nature collected are copiously found in tiles, fabrics, wallpapers, and rugs. Kitchen tools, lighting fixtures, and bath accessories, including an abundance of wreaths, floral arrangements, art, and figurines all combine to enhance and fulfill our desire to envelop ourselves with the beauties of the natural world.
R. Shannon Mock