I wrote about dipping autumn leaves in beeswax for the October Wild+Free bundle on LEAVES. So when the girls wanted to bring out the dipping pot today, I was especially aware of the beauty of this autumn tradition.
Here is an excerpt from my piece:
September 2010. It is our first year homeschooling. I have two daughters: a five-year-old and an 18-month-old, and four curriculums: a stack of books and a box of binders. I want so desperately to do this right — but nothing I read feels “right” for the type of “school” we want to do and the sort of family we are. I read. I take notes. I make lists and schedules. I envision our days. I want to choose a path and have it feel deep and meaningful right away. But I’m overwhelmed by choice. Which method to follow? Which books to read? Which projects to make?
When we go outside, my head clears. Outside I don’t need a curriculum. We play in the garden and take walks. The girls fill baskets with wild treasures. We rake leaves and jump into piles, tossing the colors of autumn up into the air, over and over again.
We bring some leaves inside, and I remember a project that I read about in one of those binders in the box next to my desk. Curious, but skeptical, I shuffle through the pages and then fill a pot with chunks of raw beeswax and heat it, slowly. The aroma of melting wax — like honey and summer memories — fills the house. I coax the girls into the kitchen and as we dip our leaves in the beeswax, magic happens. We marvel as each leaf transforms into a object of shining light, coated with a layer of nature’s finest gloss.