The Living Calendar P.1

One of the ways that I enjoy being creative is by keeping a Nature Table or Seasonal Table. A Nature Table is a place set aside inside the home to represent the changes in the natural world. It can be a place to display all those treasures one finds on a walk, or to grow some early bulbs, or force some budding branches, but it can also be a place that gets a bit more whimsical with characters and animals who make seasonal appearances. Since I like our Nature Table to represent the liturgical year as well as the natural year (because they are so beautifully consonant!) this is where our Saints stand on the day of their memorial feast. But other folks visit as well, like the gnomes and fairies. Also, because I like to incorporate both the natural and the supernatural, I try to refer to our table as a Seasonal Table because it is representative of both kinds of seasons and not just nature. But, more often than not, I slip into old habits and call it a Nature Table.

We actually have two Seasonal Tables. Since I use the one as a creative space I don't like it being fiddled with by tiny hands. So I developed a second, smaller one that can be played with. Someday I hope to have a dedicated chest or shelf that will be only for our displays. Right now we have a beautiful, rustic looking cutting board that sits on our dinning table. That way it can be moved if we need more space at the table.

This page here is a place for me to record our seasonal landscapes. There is a part of me that thinks that Seasonal Table displays should be as ephemeral as the seasons they depict. But a bigger part of me wants to have a record to admire once again this or that display idea. Hopefully you will find them helpful and fun too!

A note on the title: I am playing with the idea that these displays are meant to help the viewer live into the season in an imaginative way, and to follow along as both the world and the display changes. I think this is particularly true for very small pre-verbal and preliterate children. It becomes a way to anchor the home life in the context of the greater world. It also helps the child experience the passing of time in a visual, imaginative way that doesn't disrupt their dreamy, wide open being.

[You can read more here.]

Fall 2013--Spring 2014

Fall 3013. Feast of St. Michael the Archangel.
Fall 2013 Dia de los Muertos
For Dia de los Muertos we made a foil tablet where we recorded the names of those we wanted to remember.
Winter 2013 St. Nicholas Day. We put out our shoes and carrots for St. Nicholas' donkey.
St. Nicholas left us oranges, chocolate coins and honey sticks as presents!
February 2014: This is our collection of newly acquired crystals and our Candlemas clothes pin candles that got covered in huge amounts of snow! : )

For St. Valentine's Day 2014. Sorry for the odd angle, it was hard to get that tall candle in the shot. Sometimes I change up the display completely, and sometimes we add on to the seasonal display. Here we added St. Valentine (lower left) [on his memorial], and St. Joseph and Baby Jesus (lower right) [for the 7 Sundays before the Feast of St. Joseph] to our Candlemas table.

February 2014. This is our muddy spring display. This is an awkward angle (again) but I wanted to get that tree in there. This will be our Easter tree. I am eager about this display because I have plans to transform it all the way through the coming seasons: Lent, Passiontide, Eastertide, and Whitsuntide.

Joseph is still present, reminding us of our Sunday devotions. Here is where I first heard of the idea.

The root gnomes are doing their hidden work in the background.

Lent 2014. More photos here.

2014 Feast of the Annunciation.
2014 Passiontide More images here.
2014 Palm Sunday More images here.
2014 Easter Sunday More images here.

2014 May Day

2014 May Day. B's Seasonal Table. Yes, those are googly eyes on his Waldorf Seasonal table.
(That is the recently canonized Saint Pope John Paul The Second on the holy card. B seems to be developing an affinity for him.)

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