November 12, 2023
I love the protective gesture of this poem and the images it conjures for the imagination. It has a light and delicate cadence that lends itself to moments when we need a bit of soothing. It also serves as a sweet juxtaposition to this simple Autumn wall hanging craft.
In the weeks prior to creating these, we become like little fieldmice collecting twigs and seeds and berries. Or suddenly begin jouncing, tossing about the autumn leaves, giddy with the laughter of an autumn wind mirroring our own delight. After settling down, there is a careful collecting of the “most beautiful” leaves, that often outnumber the places we have to tuck them within our hands and pockets.
To our collection, I add fragrant cinnamon sticks (which might make it into a knowing mouth for a taste of its spiciness), star anise, and wooden beads. Some years, we slice up bright oranges and lemons, a nod to the quickly passing warmth of the sun, and dry them in the oven for stringing too.
We begin the craft by wrapping sticks with yarn to bring in some subtle color. Nothing that overpowers the beautiful, muted palette of seeds; but rather spotlights the natural radiance of autumn leaves, flowers and berries.
Then we spend a few days stringing and tying our found nature items and tying them to our sticks. Blunt tipped needles come in handy for some, others are too young for handling these fine tools yet. The older children do much of the tying and stringing themselves, while we help the younger ones. On a few of the items, such as some pinecones, I attach a little wire loop for ease of hanging.
As they are completed, we hang some in the classroom and send them home to bring a little Autumn beauty into the children’s homes, along with a copy of The Fieldmouse.