I consider myself to be a bit of a geographical ‘mutt’. I was born in Ohio then we moved to Missouri and then to Southern California where we lived in Culver City and then moved to Escondido. Then back to Missouri for my middle school years then back to Southern California for high school and college. FINALLY, I ended up in Oregon after marrying my husband and returning to his hometown where we’ve now lived for over twenty years.
Being a geographical mutt means that many of my earliest memories run together and can be a bit muddled.
But, I have a few very clear memories of the years we spent in Springfield, Missouri…the first time around.
Our backyard was perfect for two little girls who spent their days filled with imagination and adventures.
There was a wooden teeter-totter, swing set and a fort all available to keep us occupied for hours on end.
But, the best part were the trees. Huge oak trees that provided us wonderful shade on the hot, humid midwestern summer days and turned into a canopy of yellow, orange and brown when Autumn finally made its appearance.
But, as a little girl, I didn’t care too much about watching the leaves turn colors while they were on the trees.
I was waiting for the best part.
I was waiting for them to fall.
Waiting until they covered the ground and my dad would begin the process of raking them into giant piles. All over the front and back yards, the piles of leaves rose up out of the ground like massive leaf-covered mole hills.
And then it was time. Time for my sister and I to do what kids have been doing for generations.
We would run and leap into those giant piles, burying ourselves down into them until only our eyes were visible and then burst out, tossing the leaves into the air and at each other.
As I decorated my house this year for fall, I found myself thinking back to what it felt like to be in the middle of that leaf pile.
How it felt like I was inside my own little cocoon that smelled like wet leaves and grass.
This year, more than any other, I’ve wanted our home to feel like that cocoon. To feel cozy and safe and enveloped.
Every morning I open up the windows and invite that wet leaf smell into our home. I’ve yet to find a scented candle that can properly capture that aroma. I think that’s a good thing.
And as I set out pumpkins and fill urns with bundles of wheat, I keep thinking about being in the middle of that pile of leaves as a little girl and about the piles of leaves I watched my own children jump into when they were little. How we would rake them up and put a giant mound at the bottom of their slide and watch them go flying right into the center, giggling and screeching at the thrill of it and then begging their daddy to rake up the leaves again and again. He always happily obliged.
The memories of those sweet, simple moments are what I tried to capture as I decorated for this season.
Right now, the peacefulness and sense of security we can bring to our homes is more important than ever and it’s one of the few things in our world that we can have a measure of control over.
So I want my house to feel like a giant leaf pile. Minus the bugs of course!
I want it to be a place where you can’t wait to jump in and experience the joy of being cocooned followed by a bursting back into the world with fresh energy and the reminder of what a truly beautiful world it really is.
And how about you? How are you being intentional in your home right now?
We can get so caught up in the chaos and confusion happening all around us that it makes us feel powerless to know how to make sense of it all, especially when so much is just plain senseless.
But, one thing I know for sure is that a great place to start is at home.
Happy Autumn to you dear friends,