When the leaves start to fall, and the wind really blows, it's time for the root babies to go to sleep.
in a nest of leaves, by Fig and Me.
You might find the odd one, sitting atop a bed of leaves. Or making herself sleepy in her makeshift nest. But truth be told, they will all soon be gathered by their Mother, and tucked in bed with cozy blankets for their season of slumber.
I've always thought this is the coziest, most precious time of the year. When we are all told to take it slow, take it easy, by the commanding dwindling light.
To let the shorter days bring more hours of sleep, to repair our bodies, to heal our minds.
Nature works in cycles, and so do we. We are part of it, not apart from it. So we should follow Aelfreda's cues and spend the last few weeks of the year in total reverence. Much as children do most of their time actually: delighted by the falling rain, enamoured by sand castles, mystified by insects, so much curiosity.
We had been waiting for a nice crisp afternoon, one when she wasn't napping. She seemed to be awake longer than normal and with a slightly over-excited, trigger-happy finger and camera, we went outside.
The symphony that our cottonwoods and fig trees have at the moment is a joy to witness. Aelfreda couldn't help it but tried to "sample" the crunchy leaves, and finally decided to have another nap outside.
I remember well the stories of my mother-in-law, when she said to me that back in her child-rearing days, she and her friends whenever visiting family or each other, would put the children in a pram (or in a baby basket) and leave them outside on the porch or deck to sleep it off. All tucked in, breathing in that healthy cold air.
I always thought that was a bit hard core. I mean, that was back in Canada!. But I guess children are more resilient than we think, and like my own mother used to say: cold and hardship tempers the spirit.
So taking a leaf of both their instruction manuals, I left Aelfreda to sleep it off while I wandered around the garden.
When the sun started to dwindle, I picked her up, still very warm in her autumn clothes and we headed inside. I might try to sneak a nap or two outside, now that I think about it. If only the dog wouldn't always come and ask me to play with her.
How about you? Do you like enjoying the cooler temperatures outside? I fancy a lovely afternoon, with a big fat book and a nice warm cup of something decadent, maybe a dry morsel or two to dip in (biscotti would be nice). Cozy slippers. A plaid wool blanket. A comfy chair.
And to really pay attention and witness this slow "descent". This dwindling light. This year that is coming to a close. To honour the season and what it means. Maybe I will.
I hope you enjoyed this little trip with Aelfreda, but tomorrow I will bring you a bit more of her before she heads home, all the way to Austria. Go to sleep Little Aelfreda, we elves have work to do.