Yesterday. The third official day of fall. It was one of those days on which the school books just had to stay tucked away. Apples and pumpkins and nature walks and acorn hunts were more important than workbooks and writing.
The day started early with the humming of the dehydrator, as a big beautiful batch of oregano was drying. A frost warning had called for a swarm of activity the day before as herbs were picked, carrots and beets were pulled, and preserving commenced. There's nothing like a frost warning to get the garden gears moving again.
And yesterday. Well, it was a good day. It was a day filled with potential. As the thick early morning fog was burnt up by the bright autumn sun, we seized each moment to learn. We learned with our hands. And we learned real living lessons.
Like how to make S'mores candy apples. And how to make homemade pie crusts and the yummy apple filling to fill them up. And how to wash, cut, and peel apples and steam the white slivers for applesauce.
Recipes were read and followed by the oldest. Little hands used measuring cups and spoons to portion out the precise amounts of ingredients ("because it is very important to be precise in measuring when one's baking," mama told them.) Stove and cooking safety was discussed and practiced. Science was actively learned while experiencing the shifting form of solid to liquid to vapor.
The older brother instructed and guided his little sister in which cups to use for each measurement and the little sister showed the older brother a few tricks for accurately measuring out the ingredients. :)
And as the applesauce bubbled and the apples were dipped, the day was declared to be a day of celebration. A celebration of a new season. A season filled with energy and color and change and beauty.
And the celebration continued as rolling pins rolled over pie crust and mason jars were filled with cinnamon applesauce.
As children learned confidence in the buzzing activity of a kitchen.
As new fall art was carefully chalked for display.
It continued at the farmer's market, where the perfect pumpkins and gourds were picked out and another bushel of apples was purchased for more applesauce. And, of course, the jug of fresh apple cider was not left behind.
It continued as gifts from God's hand were sought out during a trek through the woods. Interesting things to display on the nature table. And beautiful leaves with intricate vein patterns to rub into nature journals.
These gifts, all intriguing, all creatively fashioned. Acorns, leaves of all sizes, moss, twigs, wildflowers.
Yes, this was most definitely a day to be celebrated. A day to be cherished. A day not to be forgotten.
A day when "school" books might have been overlooked and routine might have been neglected, but minds and hearts and curiosity and exploration certainly were not.
And those are the moments that count the most.
Those are the moments of true celebration.