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Creating ‘Seasons’ with your Senses

In my last post, “Fall Home Decor“, I shared a round up of home accessories for the cozy months ahead. Toward the end of that post, I offered an alternative approach to seasonal decorating which invites you to focus more on your five senses and less on decor. I’ve been pondering this more and more since that article posted and I think it’s worth diving into a bit more …

What if we paused at the start of each season … before adding anything new … for a moment of reflection? What if we make this a quarterly ritual? An ushering in the next, new season by spending a little time considering our 5 senses and what it might look like to welcome that season by focusing on those senses?

  1. Taste
  2. Smell
  3. Sound
  4. Touch
  5. Sight 

It feels … right. It feels like we might just be onto something here, doesn’t it?! Fall is already upon us, but I do not think it’s at all too late to consider what we need from this season.

What do we actually need at the beginning of each new season to help us … to help our minds, our bodies and our souls transition into a new season? Take a moment. Pause. Sit outside. The air is so much cooler. It feels like an invitation into reflection. Think about these questions –

What does your soul need? What do you want autumn to feel like?

I know what my soul doesn’t need … more stuff.

Once you’ve taken a few minutes to free your mind and reflect, take another minute and think about your 5 senses and the season you are in now. What comes to mind when you consider the taste of fall? The smell? The sounds? What do you think of when you consider touch? Sight?

Make a list if you want … or don’t. Here is mine …

Taste – When I think about the taste of fall, I immediately think of comfort food. Chicken pot pie soup; chili; cornbread; a sweet, crunchy apple; caramel; red wine. I want warmth and comfort. I wanted a taste that will wrap me in happy memories of childhood. I want a taste that will invite me to sit and stay awhile. A taste that lingers. That isn’t fussy. That can be shared at the table, in front of the tv or by the fire.

Smell – Initially, when I think about the smell of fall, I think about candles. This is the time of year I love candles the most, it’s true, BUT there’s so much more! All of those things that you love to taste in the fall — well, they smell pretty amazing too. That chili or chicken pot pie soup simmering on the stove. Doesn’t that just smell like warm hug? Fresh baked banana bread. Pumpkin muffins. So much goodness. But, the smell of fall is also outside of your home. The crisp air. The leaves. Your neighbors fire pit. What else? The outdoors smell so good this time of year!

Sound – As fall eases in, the sounds around us change. The wind picks up. The birds get quieter, while the squirrels are busier. Sound. It’s the crackling of the fire in your fireplace, it’s the simmering of the soup, it’s the flickering of a woodwick candle, it’s the sound of football in the background and your husband cheering. It’s the crackling of leaves under your feet on your morning walk. As the fall comes, the pace slows … and so does the music. Summer is more lively and therefore, so are our playlists. We want music that’s fun, that makes you want to turn it up, dance along, crack open a favorite beverage. Fall invites a calmer tune. I’ve been asking Alexa to play a station called “instrumental love songs”. It sounds cheesy, but it’s worth a try. You’ll recognize the songs, but they’ll be in an instrumental version and I’m finding it so peaceful.

Touch – Touch feels like an easy one to usher in with the fall. It’s in the texture of a furry blanket, a nubby blanket, a flannel pillow cover. It’s in the warmth of a fire. It’s in the closeness of your family huddled together for movie night. It’s the soft leather of your favorite jacket. It’s in the feel of the wind caressing your face. It’s the chill in the air. It’s turning on your heated seats as soon as you get in the car. It’s slipping into your Uggs for the first time.

Sight – Finally, we’ve arrived at sight. I left ‘sight’ for last on purpose and I’d encourage you to address this sense last as well. We want to put it first – as it feels like the most obvious. But, if you have addressed all of the other senses first, ‘sight’ kinda takes care of itself. And, it evolves into something different than it might if you addressed it first. So, yes, sight might take the form of seeing your fall decor placed around your home, but it is so much more than that … It’s the sight of all of the things that involve your other senses! It’s the sight of wholesome food cooking. It’s the sight of the fire. It’s the sight of your candle flickering. It’s sight of the fall stems you clipped and placed in that pretty copper vase you’ve always loved. It’s watching movies. It’s admiring the pumpkins and mums carefully placed on front porches. It’s the first red leaf. It’s driving through a tunnel of yellow. It’s seeing your family – warm and close and home.

There is something that feels so innate about ushering in a new season in this way. Once you’ve taken the time and the care to address your senses and your soul … you can’t help but feel something. And once it feels like the season you’re in, you find that you don’t actually need much else. The simplicity of it wraps you up and brings in a new kind of freedom. No ‘dollar spot’ pumpkin can do that!

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