As in many Waldorf or Waldorf-inspired homes and classrooms, at our house we have a Nature Table that reflects the seasons and upcoming holidays and the stories that come with these both. We’re always collecting and bringing in various stones, seed cones, leaves, sticks, lichen and whatnot on our daily walks and adventures and, although these are often used in kitchen play or as parts of various games hither and thither, the table is the main accumulation point for our array of natural treasures. It is a reflection of the outdoors in a little corner of our cozy home.
Sometimes the table is, to me, a beautiful work of art. It is meant to be played with though and can also turn into messy, dirty, seed and crumbly leaf covered territory. Nature is like that. Gritty, grimy and glorious all at the same time. It’s part of what we love about her.
Because our time courting Mother Nature out of doors of late has been more limited, what our Nature Table is currently reflecting is the stories we’re telling of the coming of Spring. Our favorite this time around is The Story of the Root Children by Sibylle von Olfers. In this sweet tale, the root children sleep underground in Winter under the care of wise Mother Earth. As Spring comes they awaken, sew new dresses and emerge as blossoms into the warming season. The story follows them through Summer (where they meet our favorite snail, Father Sliffslaff-Slibberslak) and in Autumn they return once more to their home underground.