A Slow Easter Holiday
Our busy, modern lives are generally altogether removed from the natural rhythms of the seasons, and this means that most of our days are spent racing the clock and not getting enough downtime, and definitely not enough sleep. Sound familiar?
But I find the onset of autumn is actually a time when life slows down, and you’re forced to reflect and take notice of what is going on outside your doors and inside yourself. The shorter days and cooler weather demands more time spent indoors with family and friends - baking, reading and generally being cosy. It is also a time for reflection and a time of balance, when the day’s and nights are in harmony.
Which means the time spent outdoor, under the canopy of pale sunlight and golden leaves, are enjoyed all the more because the light is fleeting, the days short and sweet.
Victoria Erickson, a poet and dreamer and all round inspiration wrote “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.” I couldn’t agree with this more. Autumn is magic. The colours, the scents, and change in the air all add to the indisputable charm autumn brings to the year. In the southern hemisphere, autumn also brings Easter, and Easter means chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. I prefer to make my own, as I know exactly what goes into it, and can be sure it’s full of goodness rather than the opposite. This year I made a goji and hazelnut dark chocolate slab that was a tad over the top, but tasted oh so good! To say we all ate too much chocolate and too many hot cross buns would be an understatement, but we did balance our gluttonous inclinations with a lovely hike at the Mount Dandenong Arboretum, probably my favourite spot in the hills. The landscape is dotted with maturing deciduous trees and conifers from around the world, and it’s a great place to spend the day. So we did just that on Easter Sunday.
We packed a bag with some snacks and hot tea and spent the day gently exploring. The canopy of turning red, gold, and orange leaves was just stunning and autumn colours never cease to inspire me. Also, there is nothing like a hike to clear the mind and get fresh air flowing in to your lungs. We took it slow and just enjoyed our time there, taking pictures and collecting fallen leaves, feathers and acorns. We even came across a fairy ring in the forest and lots other interesting structures made from fallen branches.
Our Easter holiday was much like our hike, simple and lovely, with not much of a need to do or be anywhere in particular. But it got me thinking about all the things in life I love simply because of their slowness in our fast paced modern world. So I compiled a list of things we did over the Easter holiday - things you can do anytime, to get a bit of slow in your day.
So for all of those who aspire to get out of the fast lane every now and again, try these:
1 Go on a hike. Anywhere. Grab a back pack and fill it with water and a few snacks and see where you legs take you. You never know what you might come across.
2 Read an actual book. The old fashioned way where you hold a tome in your hands and flip instead of swipe. A good book allows you to escape for a while, to learn and to even grow as a person as you can get into the mind of another person and have your preconceptions challenged.
3 Go beach combing. I love walking along the beach, especially in the cooler months when, if you’re lucky, you can have the whole beach to yourself. Check out rock pools and collect shells. Who knows, you might even come across a message in a bottle.
4 Keep a journal. It’s a great way to organise your thoughts, vent, daydream and record daily life. It’s also a great place to collect interesting bits and bobs from holidays and day trips. Plus you get to look through it in years to come and see what you got up to, thought and felt.
5 Write a letter or thank you card. One of the first forms of communication and in my opinion, still the best. I love writing and receiving letters more than anything. It’s so exciting to find a hand written letter in the post, because lets face it, most of what we receive in the mail are bills! So if you want to spend a slow afternoon, write someone a letter to show them you are thinking about them. I guarantee they will love it.
6 Make some homemade chocolate. It’s super fun, easy, and you can include all your favourite things and just go nuts.
7 Go foraging. What you will find will depend on where you live, but if you know what to look for, you can usually always find something. If you are unsure, take a foraging class, which is a super fun way to spend a few hours. You learn something new, meet some likeminded people and discover a whole new kind of pantry.
These are all things we did over our slow Easter break and I really hope you get a chance to incorporate some of these slow ideas into your life.
Love and light,