Author and mother-of-five Amanda Soule has always enjoyed the different elements that come from each new season, from spring flowers to warm summer sunshine, autumn's harvest and snowy days of winter. Her new book The Rhythm of Family explores how families can make the most of living in tune with the cycles of nature and revel in every season. Here Amanda shares some seasonal thoughts:
What's your idea of a perfect family day? A perfect family day would include all seven members of our household – my husband Stephen, and our five children Calvin, 12, Ezra, nine, Adelaide, seven, Harper, four, and baby Annabel, whose one – and would include home, gardening, walking, playing, creating together, and ending with a visit to the lake. Oh, and ice cream – a perfect day always has to include ice cream!
How do you celebrate the different seasons? Living on a farm now as we do, our everyday actions are so tied to the seasons. In organic ways, we celebrate the seasons by living fully in them. The seasons here in New England are so extremely different from one another, and time goes by so fast, that we can't help but appreciate this season's activities before moving onto the next.
What is your favourite season, and why? I love summer most of all – I love the freedom it invites us all to experience. The warm sun, my garden, children running to all corners of our land, immersing ourselves in the ocean, rivers and lakes. Bliss.
What do your children enjoy best about the different seasons? Interestingly, each time I ask them the question of what their favorite season is, they inevitably name the one we're in at that very moment. I think that's so indicative of young children and the beautiful ability they have to be present, to live right in the moment and be in touch with what's going on right here, right now. I find it inspiring.
Name one of your favourite family activities for each season.
Spring We most enjoy the beginning of our garden and stretching out our wings from wintertime.
Summer We love to visit the seaside and the shore as often as we can.
Autumn We gather with friends often as we celebrate the harvest and quieting down of the world around us.
Winter We love the contrast of skiing outside and then coming in to create around the warm, comforting fire inside.