A few weekends ago, I decided instead of a lonely weekend home alone, that I would pack the little one up and we would travel to be with my husband while he was working. Following him lead us out into the country, where the land is flat and one finds little more than fields and forests. Somehow the air is fresher, the quiet is more still, and one can sink into a deeper sense of awareness and reflection. Sometimes the simple way of life in the country can be an adventure for me... especially in a country that I have only called "home" for just a few years.
Sunday afternoon, with it's clear and crisp fall weather, lured us into the forest for a mushroom hunt. Wicker baskets in hand and stroller in tote, four generations set out to scour the forest floor for a few tasty treats for our evening meal. I would probably have to say that mushroom hunting is not so common for families in the States, but for many who call the countryside home in Germany, it is a wonderful yearly fall tradition.
For my husband it is the wide open flat fields filled with grains as far as the eye can see that speaks to the most inner part of his soul, but for me it is the forests that remind me of home. Somehow canopies of lush trees that fill the air with hearty, wooded aromas bring me to a place of inner peace. The tall pines were almost speaking, welcoming us as they creaked from swaying back and forth ever so slightly with the soft wind. Birds and other creatures create their own music and one is ever anticipating that glimpse of some great creature making it's way through the forest.
We even stumbled onto a big patch of "Fliegenpilze" (flying mushrooms) with their vibrant red caps that warn, that despite their beauty, of the danger that could follow should their enticing offerings be consumed. I have seen these funny little mushrooms, known for their red caps and white dots, over all here, certain that they were linked to some kind of folklore or fairytale that is well known in Germany. I really would really love to hear more stories about them! (Hint, hint...)
There is something so absolutely fulfilling from gathering from the land that which nature has provided and using it to sustain life... and oh, what a tasty treat it was!
What fall traditions are especially close to your heart?