Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Padding Our Nest with Nature's Bounty

I'm a scrounger.  A few weeks ago, I gathered boughs from limbs that had broken off of a long-needle pine tree and created our dining room table centerpiece in a clear canning jar.  On another day, I bought three large pine cones at a thrift store for a total of $1.65 and they now make a bold, natural statement in an antique basket in our living room.  While enjoying a walk one afternoon, I picked up off the street as many plump little pine cones as I could stuff into my jacket pockets and placed them into a crisp, white bowl.  And now today, I brought home several limbs of red dogwood that someone was tossing and I made an alternative Christmas tree out of them for our living room, decorated only with one of Mom's lovely red felt cardinals.  I love nature and I enjoy bringing items from nature into our home all year long.  Although I favor the other three seasons, there's a part of me that must be a winter bird -- a sparrow, cardinal, chickadee, junco, even a crow --that survives the cold winter by staying right at home.  My good friend Kitty brings the outdoors in, as well, but she has creatively brought some of late spring into her recent Christmas celebrations by refrigerating cuttings from her peonies and bringing them out to blossom for the winter holidays.  Whether through pine cones, poinsettias, Christmas trees or even peonies, we have many ways of displaying our vital connection to the natural world at this time of year.  I am grateful to pad our nest with them.

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