Issue 106 is out now
The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

13th December 2018

How to tap into the healing powers of autumn by Josie Cremore. Runner up in The Green Parent Writing Competition 2018.

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

13th December 2018

The Green Parent

By The Green Parent

13th December 2018

It is far too easy to become wrapped up in life. To allow yourself to be distracted by everything that isn’t important and to forget to be mindful and present with the things that mean the most to you. The things you know will make you happiest.

Autumn is my Goddess time. It is my time of empowerment, where I feel most connected to the world around us. Perhaps it is because of how thin the walls are between this world and others at this time of year, or perhaps it is due to the way the landscape suddenly reveals the most bountiful treasures, reminding me how amazing nature is. Whatever it might be, I always find myself profoundly comfortable and at completely at peace during this season. I feel more like me than at any other time of the year.

This year, however, the feeling is slow to root. The long sticky summer is reluctant to make way for crisper mornings and cosy layers are often completely shed by lunchtime. I am wrapped up in my thoughts, plagued by the stresses of a house move (that is taking far too long) and consumed by the daily demands of life. I have been distracted; buried in paperwork and emails and household chores and have barely noticed the leaves turning their stunning hues of orange and gold. I am not being mindful and I am not being present.

We are often given the gift of hindsight, I gift which usually fills us with regret and makes us painfully wish that we had done things differently. Sometimes though, we are presented with the opportunity of a wakeup call. An icy plunge in the pool to shock us into action before we are made to suffer that regretful feeling of missed opportunities.

Mine comes in the form of a jumper.

It is 7.30pm and in my hands, I hold a small knitted jumper. I inhale its warm baby scent, it smells deliciously like you. Smoothing it out on the table -to see if its second day worthy or destined for the laundry mountain- I am struck by intense emotion.

The jumper looks huge.

The garment swims and blurs as tears threaten my tired eyes. How has this happened? When did you get so big?

I sink onto the sofa and allow a few tears to escape, hoping they might be the healing I need. I am overwhelmed as I realise that although I have been waiting for our new house and more space to do these wonderful things with you, youhave not been waiting for me! Time has not slowed down (in fact quite the opposite!) Now you are two and there are so many things I haven’t done with you yet. Time is flying past us, every day you learn a new thing, every week you look just a little bit different and every month you lose interest in something you once loved and find a new, much more exciting thing to love. If I’m not careful your toddler years, which are so full of wonder and exploration could pass me by completely.

But it is not too late, I’ve caught myself just in time!

With a calming breath I put down the –enormous-jumper and go into the kitchen. On the side sits all the ingredients for that playdough I have been meaning to make since June. It is October now and I start to combine the ingredients in a big bowl. I allow myself to feel the textures of each ingredient as they pass through my fingertips, beginning the important business of reconnecting myself to the world. I inhale the smells as I lovingly knead the dough, it takes minutes to prepare a fat, round ball of smooth, cinnamon scented, orange playdough.

I smile, feeling better already. That wasn’t so hard.

The next morning your tiny face peers into mine, bouncing and ready to start the day. It is 5.30 AM and I take your hand, leading you into the little room in our flat that serves as our dining room, our living room and our playroom. I set before you a tray of autumnal treasures and beautifully scented playdough and your face lights up as you begin a sensory journey. My heart is so inflated with joy and pride that I feel like it might burst! It took me so little time to make this new toy but I know we are going to get hours of pleasure from it!

The reconnecting doesn’t stop there though, by 9am it is a wonderfully crisp October morning so we fly out the door, tumbling over scarves and pushchairs and demands for snacks and water. Outside our breath puffs out in ethereal curls and the sun lights every tree on fire. Today is beautiful. I let you look at every diamond covered spider web and leaf. It makes our journey to the woods take three times as long, but so what? You are little and learning and we’ve nowhere else to be.

In the woods, we breathe in the exquisite, earthy scent of decaying leaves, musky animals and moist earth. It is a primal scent and I can feel my internal fires of passion and creativity start to reignite. At this time of year the sun is always more golden and sitting low in the sky, shafts of it glitter through the trees, creating translucent, triangles of whispery mist. The world has never been more breath-taking.

“We’re going on a bear hunt.” I whisper and you squeal with excitement.

The next hour is spent running, jumping and exploring the wood, we sing and search for bears, making up our own words and collecting treasure as we go. I want to cry at your happiness (motherhood is excruciatingly emotional), it is such a simple activity that required no planning or purchasing yet it reminds me of your pure and inspiring sense of wonder at everything in the world.

Today I am learning from you.

We emerge from the woods, suitably reconnected and sublimely calm. You climb, willingly, into the pushchair for a nap. I listen to the sound of freshly fallen leaves crunching under my feet and -inhaling the smell of bonfires and wood smoke- I turn my face towards the sun.

Here it is; the Goddess feeling.

I am empowered.

I am present and connected.

I am happy.

Because I am a mother and this is what it is all about.

Josie Cremore, is a part time Teaching Assistant. She lives, in Kent, with her husband and their two year old son. Her passion for writing is something she rediscovered whilst pregnant. Josie enjoys having a focus for her downtime and is currently trying her hand at novel writing!