Autumn Thoughts

The holidays are over, the older boys are back in school and the days are feeling very autumnal with the air crisp early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Here, Down Under, the seasons are out of step with the traditional rituals of the Northern Hemisphere and, at the moment, it would feel unnatural to bounce around like a spring lamb and throw open the windows and doors. Now that Daylight Savings time has finished, the days are definitely drawing-in and many of our trees are vibrant in their coloured clothes.

We’ve decided to make this last week in April an important one in our home. It began last year in the shadow of three family/friend deaths, the Christchurch earthquake and the Pipe River Mining disaster. The last week of April for us is All Hallows. For the week, we have a memorial branch, with no leaves, on our season table. On the twigs of that branch we hang memorial cards for all of those who have touched our lives and died.

Our autumn season table

An image on one side (Cathedral for Chch; Candle for Pipe River; photos for family and friends). Written details on the back.

Yesterday, the two older boys carved pumpkins (from our own garden!) and delighted that it was dark enough for them to turn out the lights during dinner-time and watch the eerie glow from those pumpkin people’s eyes. (The lights came on again, so we didn’t have to deal with sliced fingers mixed with the meal!) We’ll keep them on the table for the week and probably have adventures with them each evening.

On Tuesday the older boys will be collected by their grandparents from the school bus, spend the night with them and then attend dawn service for ANZAC early on Wednesday. I doubt there is anything more poignant for a memorial service than standing in silence and hearing the last post as the sun is rising…

In the spirit of the week, I leave with you with Desiderata:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their own story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be, And whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

Have a reflective week. 🙂


About Karyn @ kloppenmum

kloppenmum is me, Karyn Van Der Zwet, mother of three and ex-teacher. I'm part of a revolution in parenting, with the aim to raise mature (not sophisticated) and self-assured children. I also know some stuff about adults. I have also had articles printed in The Journal for The British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (Children and Young People) and the US parenting magazine, Pathways to Family Wellness, as well I regularly write for World Moms Blog (named as one of the Forbes 100 most useful blogs for women 2012 &2013). You can follow me on facebook (kloppenmum) pinterest (Karyn at Kloppenmum) and twitter (@kloppenmum). I'm also vaguely on LinkedIn (Karyn Van Der Zwet). Thanks to Joe (Mr Hare) for taking the photo. Cheers, son: xxxx.
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8 Responses to Autumn Thoughts

  1. Loi says:

    Thanks for the reminder Karyn. I have loved the Desiderata and always wondered about the ‘Anonymous’ tag. I have recently found out that it’s not anonymous after all, according to Wikipedia. Have a great week ahead!

  2. Laura Weldon says:

    Thank you for this Karyn.

  3. MamaWerewolf says:

    Beautiful! Rituals make life so rich and bring understanding to events that can be overwhelming. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. hakea says:

    I was thinking of All Hallows the other day, and wondering whether it should be relocated for us. You are so right, if it is relocated to April then it coincides with Anzac Day which has to be the saddest time and greatest reflection of loss in our calendar.

    I can’t do anything other than make Anzac biscuits on this day, the loss is too overwhelming for me.

    • I visited the beach at Gallipoli. And climbed down the cliff-face to the beach, then stood at about knee height in the water and back looked up the cliff. They were some of the most powerful and heart-wrenching minutes of my life.

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