Box of Leaves: 10 Years


Our box of Michigan leaves arrived yesterday.

 photo print 3_zpsjvty4jlq.jpg

My cousin Joann has been sending them to us every fall for ten years now. She waits for the perfect conditions–peak colors and dry weather–and always texts me on the day she gathers: “Today’s the day.” Every leaf is hand-picked and vacuum-packed into a box that she pays a pretty penny to ship…just to make us smile. We were expecting the box to arrive Saturday, but it didn’t make it which sent my cousin in a tizzy because she was afraid with the extra day of sitting at the post office, the leaves might lose their color or dry up or get moldy, but they were as perfect as ever.

 photo print 24_zpsc65eihz4.jpg

What began as a thoughtful gesture to give my kids a taste of a northern fall has turned into a deep-rooted ritual that connects us to home, each other and reminds us how happy something as simple as a box of leaves can make us.

 photo leaves 10 years_zpsw00r8ub2.jpg

 

 photo print 29_zpsje9zcajo.jpg

One of my favorite books I often return to is Simple Abundance, a collection of essays for every day that foster a gratitude practice and celebrate finding sacred in the ordinary from Autumn leaves to an afternoon cup of tea. That book is the foundation of my “Enjoying the Small Things” celebrations, and ever since my sister and I toted copies of it in the 90’s like the dorks we were and consequently started “comfort boxes” to stash our favorite little things that made us happy, I refer back to it often and think of it in moments like geeking out over our box of leaves. I recently bought a follow-up children’s book by the same author, Sara ban Breathnach, called The Best Part of the Day and love this quote in the author’s introduction: “Gratitude is often thought of as an intellectual concept, when really Gratitude is a small seed planted in the heart that is nurtured and nourished through acknowledging all the good that surrounds us. Good that can be discovered through the reassuring comfort of family customs, rituals, and traditions and restoring a sense of rhythm in our daily round and through the changing seasons.”

 photo print 10_zpsyfa5q7rv.jpg

This tradition, these leaves, the way we run to the woods to do the same thing we do every year with them–toss them into the air and drink up their earthy scent and pile them up to make little pillows where we lay for pictures…

 photo print 35_zpsxcy85kz2.jpg
The way my kids all look at me while we do this, anticipating my happiness…following my lead…
The way they’ve come to look forward to them and enjoy them as much as I do…

 photo print 34_zpsmzdxsqxm.jpg
It’s a small seed of gratitude that has grown into a sturdy ritual that grounds us and reminds us that no matter how challenging life gets, there is an abundance of little pleasures around us that can bring us back home.

My kids may not know a Northern Autumn, but they know the joy that comes from its treasures.

 photo print 31_zpszxtlc6oi.jpg

(Dash copied Lainey in the above picture, said “Look!” and we all lost it.)

 photo print 33_zps5g3ggwet.jpg

 photo print 37_zpshrhenxdb.jpg
(I didn’t notice until I was editing that Lainey is clutching the Sophie necklace my niece sent her)

 photo print 32_zpsjicz66cy.jpg

 photo print 22_zpsryfm4ef7.jpg

We melted a pan of beeswax and dipped a good 30 leaves or so in it last night so we can enjoy our leaves a little longer and make a garland that will get us through Thanksgiving.

 photo print 17_zpss0t6yipd.jpg

 photo print 16_zpsnrmeuo7l.jpg

Until next year’s box…sending vibrant Autumn happies your way today.

 photo print 14_zpss12i8mgq.jpg

 photo print 13_zpsfk0s1jqo.jpg

 photo print 9_zpsdlgjbv3g.jpg

The post Box of Leaves: 10 Years appeared first on Enjoying the Small Things.

http://ift.tt/2gzDvR7

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s