Speckled leaf. Autumn Poem

The sorrowful descent has begun. Does the hawthorn mourn its haws, Its fruiting work finished? Does the ash cry out “Don’t leave me!” To its leaves? Do the redundant wasp and the tattered butterfly  Know their lifespans are fast ending? Do they accept, lament, or resist? Does the robin rage, like me, against the advancing night? Do the ings sigh with relief as land and rain unite? Do fungi dance for joy that their time at last has come? Do skeins of geese call overhead in celebration of movement? My sorrowful descent has begun. Am I alone in my dark season sadness? by Catherine Djimramadji Note from poet: A seasonal poem, though not entirely representative of my own feelings.  Though I do sense that sadness at times, I’ve also come to embrace the dying, decaying and renewing aspect of this time of year.

Boy next to teddy with a home-made wormery

My daughter’s Biology work this week was to make a wormery.  We decided to make it a family task, and donned our gardening gloves.  We needed: Empty 2-litre plastic bottle Soil Sand Water Worms Dead leaves and vegetable peelings Scissors Dark coloured paper Sellotape Here is what we did: 1. Cut the a quarter of the water bottle off at the top.  Cut a slit into the side of the piece that has been cut off.  This will be your lid. 2. Layer the bottle with soil and sand, drizzling water gently over each layer.  We made the layers of sand thinner than the layers of soil.  Leave around 5 centimetres at the top of the bottle empty. 3. Find some worms!  (Plenty of digging happened here) 4. Place the worms on top of the soil and watch them burrow down the layers. 5. Add some dead leaves and vegetable…

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We were not going to be beaten by the weather today, but we did bring some of our activities under cover. We used pine cones for lots of different activities, but we also discussed other seeds. We thought about how faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains. Apologies for some fuzzy pictures – you can’t keep some people still!

The autumn leaves were put to good use in the woods today. We thought about the cycle of life and how the seeds falling from the trees are part of new life next year. The children looked at conkers and beech nuts and thought about how they would be planted. We weaved twine over a hedgehog and put in leaves and other things from nature that were lying around. I think all of our understanding about hedgehogs was increased today!

Our theme was Noah’s Ark. We looked for all of the colours of the rainbow in the woods, and we found them! Well, if you count the sky for blue, that is. We also found some tiny creatures in the woods that might have boarded the ark. The children played noughts and crosses with natural items we found in the woods, and the adults made an ark using twigs and sticks. We discussed how the people of that time did not want to listen to God, which can be a bit like us not listening to our parents.

We shared Forest Church in a different location on Wednesday. We were at the Hayes Conference Centre in Derbyshire for the 212th annual meeting of the General Conference of the New Church, and found a bit of “forest” at the back of the grounds. The adults built shelters to keep the sun off. They then went off alone or in pairs to find something that made them happy, something that surprised them, and something that told them the Lord was in this place. Thank you to those who sent me their photos!

Three girls and a boy holding up pictures of butterflies in the woods

This month we were looking at butterflies. It followed on nicely from last month’s caterpillars.  After having an energising team relay race we went on a butterfly hunt. We created our own butterfly pictures, and then made butterflies out of sticks and leaves. We thought about how if we follow the path that Jesus showed us, we become like beautiful butterflies.

Group of children in the woods

Lovely Forest Church this afternoon! The weather was much kinder to us this month. We made our own very hungry caterpillars, looked for eggs and larvae, and planted runner bean seeds. We hope that they will grow as well as the seeds that were planted in the good soil in the parable of the sower.

Lovely time in the woods in the dark this evening! We followed the journey of the star and found baby Jesus in the stable. Apologies for the quality of the photos – not easy to capture a good shot in the dark

This month we created pictures out of leaves. We then chose our favourite leaves and made them into lanterns with glass jars and tissue paper. We were very glad of our shelter this time!