Greetings from a very autumnish Oregon!
On September 23rd, we stepped into the fall season and the shift in energy was certainly noticeable to me. How about you? The Autumn Equinox ushered in a cold spell here and our days flowed into a cozier and softer rhythm. The days are now marked with fewer hours of daylight than dark and they’ll continue to shorten as we progress to the Winter Solstice. I find it deeply reassuring to have this constancy in a world of such rapid change.
I’ve been reflecting this week about how living with the seasons and their energies has made such a difference in my life and work. It touches on something I shared in the September Field Guides in Seasons of Wonder by Caitlin Matthews in The Celtic Spirit:
“If we can live each moment of the year as it is happening, with attention to the seasonal threshold and their gifts, we may discover a new resourcefulness that will enrich our lives with special joy.”
To which I added:
“This is the difference between simply noting the change of season and “keeping the season.” … When we fully step over the threshold into the season with intention and presence, we align with the rhythm and energies of the natural world around us. We become part of it and it becomes part of us in deeper and richer ways. Our creativity, work, and personal lives are nourished because of it and we feel a deeper sense of belonging to our own lives and the world as a result.”
Fall invites us to slow down, tuck into the pleasures of hearth and home, and softly begin turning our energies inward as we prepare for the winter to come. But along with that inward turning comes more clarity, more surety, and rich knowledge of what is most important in our lives. And what we crave to support ourselves, our loved ones, and our dreams. Ah, but there’s also a wandering, adventurish spirit to early autumn, too.
Crisper mornings, softer light, and fall colors entice us to don our warm woolies to go out and explore a bit. To go on a gentle quest or two that our soul craves. And then we return pink-cheeked and glowing to our warm nests where we can pop on our fuzzy slippers, brew up a hot pot of tea or rich roasty coffee, light candles and a fire on the hearth, and curl up with a good story or a handcraft as we sink back into the pleasures of home.
Of all the seasons, fall feels the most enchanting to me. The colors, energy, and themes of fall (and the autumn holidays) all have a bit more magic to them somehow. Is it any wonder that we start craving to do and make more things with our hearts and hands? To connect more deeply with our homes, our loved ones, and our own creative spirits?
I have a few lovely things to share with you in this issue of Field Notes, including a sneak peek at the Wondermaking Welcome video, a free Field Guide from Seasons of Wonder for you to tuck into, my fall season offerings, a few new entries in my “tiny cabinet of wondrous things,” and a special request at the end for you to consider.
Yours in autumn enchantment and slow magic,
P.S. Just as I finished writing this missive to you, I stepped outside onto the porch with my coffee and heard a honking flock of geese pass over me…the first of the year. How blissfully perfect. Hello, fall, and welcome!
Wondermaking: Weaving wonder with our hearts & hands.
Plus, a sneak peek at the Welcome video!
Miss Wondersmith (Betsy Hinze) and I put our heads and hearts together last spring and came up with an enchanting idea for bringing fellow wonder-lovers together for an adventure in handcrafting gifts, exploration, self-care, and community this fall. We invited Artist Amy Won and Magical Herbalist Lauren Dodge of Fruits to the Roots to join us and the four of us dove in this summer to explore it all together. And this new class, Wondermaking, is the result of that collaborative magic. Goodness, we’re excited! It’s even more special than we’d originally imagined it would be.
We’ll be sharing how to make Enchantment Journals, Wonder Boxes, Golden Elixirs, Stories Crafted with Tea, and other delights. But Wondermaking is much more than just learning how to make some goodies and checking gifts off your holiday list early. The true magic of Wondermaking lies in how we go about making those gifts to nourish our own spirits in the creative process. It’s about weaving in rich meaning, sparkling wonder, ritual, magic, relaxing flow, and beautiful energy into what we create with our heart and hands.
That’s why we’ve crafted Wondermaking as an enchanting experience for you rather than a typical “how-to class.” In Wondermaking, we weave in delicious self-care, simple rituals, a love of nature, creative inspiration, and ways to imbue each gift you make with personal meaning and magic for the intended recipient (yourself or someone else).
Want a sneak peek at the Welcome video for Wondermaking?
If you’ve been considering joining us, this video may help give you a better idea about what Wondermaking is all about, and you’ll meet the Wondermaking Guides as we share a bit more about what we’ll be doing and creating together. Just click on the video image above or pop over here.
You’ll find the video midway down the Wondermaking invitation page.
The Welcome & Orientation material is posting for all participants on Tuesday, October 1st!
This includes the master supplies list with links, a video, and an enchanting audio field trip to choose your Wondermaking creative space, among other goodness.
You’ll find all the details over here.
Registration is $116 (USD)
October 12 through November 8, 2019
We’d love for you to join us!
A Tiny Cabinet of Wondrous Things
A few things that have been enchanting me lately:
- Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness. This book has been patiently waiting unread on my bookshelf for almost a year for the right time to tuck into it. As soon as the weather turned cold, I knew it was time. There’s something about the fall season that makes me want to revisit the World of All Souls and Harkness’ wonderful books in her All Souls series. I’m about a third the way in and am loving it.
- The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. Why did it take me so long to read this book? What a treasure. I can see it will be one I return to again and again in the years to come.
- Lynda Barry herself (and her work). Here’s another of those “why-did-it-take-me-so-long-to-discover-this” kind of wonders. I’d come across a few of Barry’s books several times in the past but her art style and the covers just didn’t really do anything for me at first blush. And so I passed. My loss! I finally let my curiosity get the best of me and got myself a copy of her amazing Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor. I read it this summer, along with What it Is and a few of her other books. Now that autumn is underway, I find myself going back through Syllabus again…in awe. Frankly, she’s a creative genius and I’m fascinated by her practice, her imagination, and her curiosity about how images communicate. Brilliant. No wonder then that she just won a Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation. Well deserved.
- Carnaval Row t.v. series on Amazon streaming. Not a light and fluffy story about the fae! But who can resist such an intriguing premise? Refugee fae from the wars in their lands settle into Burgue, a human city. It’s part murder mystery, part love story, and full-on mythic fiction all rolled into one. Fair warning, it has some gritty and graphic bits. Not my normal fare … and yet, I’m completely enchanted by it. Oh, and did I mention Orlando Bloom plays the male lead (Philo, a human detective)? Yeah, that too.
- Michael Nobbs’ One Thing Today podcast. A sweet Wonder Sister sent me some delightful zines this summer at the Mountain. Included in the package was a copy of one of Michael Nobbs’ books, Drawing Your Life: Learn to See, Record, and Appreciate Life’s Small Joys. I was intrigued by his quirky style and gentle approach to creativity, so I looked up his website and discovered his podcasts. Oh my. For anyone who struggles to find time to weave creativity into your days – whether due to chronic illness or simply a full life and schedule – this podcast is for you. But it’s more than just about finding time to nurture our creative dreams. His podcast and work focuses on going gently and living with intention, being present, honoring where we are and the energy we have while taking tiny creative steps (and tiny adventures) when and how we can. I’ve been hooked since July.
- “Stories Are Medicine: The Folklore of Healing,” a blog post on Terry Windling’s Myth & Moor website. Just read it.
- “It’s not inside you trying to get out, it’s outside you trying to get in,” a blog post by Austin Kleon. This bit especially, “What if you stopped thinking about your ideas as things you need to let out of you, but things you need to let in to you? Things you need to be ready to receive?”
A free Field Guide from Seasons of Wonder for you!
Consider this a little gift from my heart to your hands. If you’ve been curious about Seasons of Wonder, curl up with the September Field Guide for a taste. It’s the first field guide of the fall season and is chock full of autumn enchantments (and October’s is even more so!). You can download the PDF by clicking the cover above or this link.
And then, if speaks to your heart and creative spirit, we’d love to have you join us in the final session of Seasons of Wonder! Yes, this is the final live session of Seasons of Wonder I’ll be leading live in community (I won’t be offering it live next year). And it’s only $49 for the season. So, if you’ve had your eye on this program, now’s the time to dive in and join us for this final season we’re exploring together. My deep love of autumn and its enchantments are woven through every month’s material in this fall session.
You’ll find all the details about the Seasons of Wonder program over on the invitation page.
Hearts & Hands for a Wonder Sister
A dear Wonder Sister and cherished friend needs help. Miss Wondersmith (Betsy Hinze) needs emergency surgery pronto and the only surgeons who can do the surgery that are within reach are out of her insurance’s network. After getting nowhere with her insurance company, she’s now raising money through GoFundMe to pay for the cost of the surgery herself to avoid the lengthy insurance battles and get the medical attention she needs as soon as possible. It’s a sad state of affairs in the U.S. that someone has to raise funds through the generosity of others to get emergency medical surgery.
Betsy is one of the kindest, most generous, and creative spirits I’ve ever met. I’m constantly in awe of her valiant spirit and creative output despite the serious illnesses she’s been navigating for years. If you were in the Wonder Club last year, you’ll remember her bright spirit very well. And if you subscribe to Enchanted Living magazine, you’ll have seen her featured Miss Wondersmith articles appearing in every issue for more than a year now. She’s amazing. We’ve become friends and collaborators and I want to support her in any way I can.
So, Sisters, it’s time to circle around a Wonder Sister in need. I ask with hands on my heart if you’ll send Betsy blessings, prayers, and love as she navigates this crazy situation. And if you’re able to donate to her GoFundMe campaign, that would be an even bigger blessing for her to receive. Even the smallest contribution helps.
*And lest you’re concerned about how this will affect her participation as a guide and instructor in Wondermaking, you can rest assured. She’s already crafted up all the enchantment to share with us and still plans to join us in our Facebook group to chat and share (yep, I told you she was amazing!).
“Nothing was done quickly or for the sake of
getting through and check it off one’s
endless to-do list. Instead there was a
reverence to Ysabeau’s every move–
how she sniffed the blossoms in her garden,
the feline stealth of her steps,
the slow pause when she reached
the end of a chapter in her book before
she went on to the next.”
~ Deborah Harkness, Time’s Convert
Know someone who would enjoy reading this? You’ll receive my deep gratitude (and bonus house points) if you’d forward it on to them.
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