Nature's treasures

These autumn afternoons are the most beautiful ones in our lives. We’ve not seen so many different colors before. Every time we go for a walk at the end of the day, we come back home with Nature’s treasures.

It has been raining at the beginning of the week. It’s quite warm these days, so we have been picking field mushrooms. Looking for mushrooms we can eat is one of the pleasant things we can do as a family. Last night, we ate the first ones of this autumn with some potatoes. They were delicious.

We still can find some flowers in the fields, but not that much. However, there are plenty of other kind of Nature’s treasures as beautiful leaves, birds feathers or dried fruits from trees. Sometimes, we keep most beautiful ones for Sacha’s notebook, a kind of diary we are writing to him, where he’ll be able to read about our forest walks, daily life and souvenirs.

Autumn and chestnuts

We’ve been travelling for a while. Having holidays under the sun during September is a kind of benefit. We have gone to the beach, read some books, visit the family and friends… and enjoyed Spanish and Portuguese dishes and wines.

We left home with fruits in the garden. Being back, the forest is now totally different, full of read, brown, yellow and green colors. I guess if I had to chose a season, the most beautiful one, I’d say autumn (even if spring is for me the warmest one).

We went for a walk after working all day. The sun was almost gone when we realized a lot of chestnuts had already fallen from the trees. It was the first time Sacha saw some. We’ve not done it yet, but I’m already looking forward to sitting by the fireplace. It is the kind of calm I imagine for a relaxing afternoon: the autumn, family, books, chestnuts and a fireplace to sit by.

Birds feathers, changes and blackberries

It's been a bit more than one year since we definitely moved. It is actually the first summer we have spent together at home, the three of us. 

Yesterday afternoon, after work, we went to have a walk and to look for blackberries in the garden. There are a lot of them which are not ready yet, but we could pick up some of them. We'll certainly make a blackberries cake with.

We found some birds feathers on the floor and I immediately thought about a Kyo Maclear's book I will speak to you about that was a kind of revelation last summer. I looked at Sacha, at Samuel, and I let them to continue walking into the forest. It was in another book, called Mr. Flux, where Kyo Maclear said:

“You can make change or it can make you. Change is to keep us on our toes. Change is to make us look more closely. What doesn't change are the arms you use to hug with. Those stay the same.” 

- Kyo Maclear, Mr. Flux

We discussed about how fast time has passed by since we moved here. We realize we do not miss the city. We feel so lucky at the end of these summer days.

Summer memories and apple and plum jam

When you're a foreign in the country you live in, sometimes nostalgia makes you feel homesick. We have not had summer holidays yet (they're approaching), and some days ago, while cooking apples compote, we had the visit of our neighbour.

We had told him some days before that birds had taken all the plums from our trees, so he arrived with an entire basket of plums from his garden. This is not the first time he does something like this. At the beginning we were very surprised about this kind of reactions, as we were not used to this living in Paris, and, really, this is something we appreciate.

So, besides cooking a lot of apples compote for our baby these last days, we had so many fruits that we decided to freeze plums to cook some cakes during the winter. Also, we've been cooking apple and plum jam that we will eat at home and we will offer as summer present from home to our relatives and friends when we'll meet them during the holidays.

This is one of the luxury pleasures we were looking for when we decided to move to the countryside: picking fruits from the trees, without any treatment, and eating them or cooking with. Also, having fresh flowers from the garden at home. In the picture, close to the jam, there's a dried bouquet. It is the first one Sacha has offered me, coming back home from a walk with his grandma, three days ago. This year, this is one of my preferred summer memories.

Tilia seeds, apples and Alejandro Zambra

It happened again, we went for a walk and we came back with apples from one of the garden trees (another kind of apples, that we will use to cook our baby's compote), and flowers.

We have Samuel's parents at home these days. They help us a lot with the garden and housework. Since Sacha was born, the more time we spend together, the more we feel how lucky we are having them not so far away. Actually, we are so happy about Sacha knowing that he can enjoy his four great grandparents. 

The end of the summer is approaching and I feel nostalgic. Sacha is growing up so quickly, fruits are ready to eat and we feel like all plans we did for this summer are being postponed because of the lack of time. Nothing new actually. I guess this is the way life goes on and this is also something we have to get use to when we live in the countryside, we have a job and we have children, right? 

When I feel nostalgic I often read books I've already read. Don't ask me why, but I felt the need to read something by Alejandro Zambra. I got "Facsímil" from the library, which is not maybe one of his most popular books, but one I also like a lot. I do love his writing. Even more, one of my favorite quotes about the exercise of writing is coming from his book "Formas de volver a casa", translated into English as "Ways of going home":

"I knew little, but at least I knew that: no one could speak for someone else. That although we might want to tell other people's stories, we always end up telling our own."

I guess everything we write, we create, we plan and dream of in life has something to do with our story. Being nostalgic as we are feeling today and thinking about childhood, our ancestors, our own stories and life nowadays, we decided to start working on a new handmade project we had already been thinking about. It has something to do with tilia seeds, persil and a tribute to our ancestors, so we started picking up seeds from the floor, under the tree. It was a silent moment full of peace.

Lesson of today: simple things are often full of love and honesty. 

Looking for fruits in the garden with Wislawa Szymborska

This afternoon, coming back home from the village, we went out to have a walk. We were going to the forest, but we decided to have a look to all the trees of the garden, as some fruits were almost ready to be collected one week ago. It was too late for the plums: birds had already eaten most of them.

It's quite frustrating, but this is not the first time it happens this year. This is the way Nature works. Since we live in the countryside, we realize we have not been able to adapt completely to Nature's rhythm. Why is time passing so quickly these days? We keep being so busy with our jobs, the baby and daily life that we have the feeling of missing some things.

Anyway, we keep doing our best and trying to do as much as we can. We got some apples (they are delicious!) and Sacha tasted a plum for the first time.

We came back home after the walk. Having dinner, I thought about the plums, the birds, and a poem I haven't finished. I went to continue writing it, but I couldn't. I stopped writing and trying. I remembered a poem from Wislawa Szymborska and then I thought about writing this post to share it with you. I wanted to share that poem from Szymborska, but looking for it on the Internet I found another treasure: advice by Wislawa Szymborska for blocked writers and aspiring poets. These answers were originally published in the Polish newspaper Literary Life. I'm sharing the Poetry Foundation selection. Isn't it magic? 

"Du bois à la maison", the project

“Du bois à la maison” means “From the forest to home” in French. We are Samuel (a photograph and film maker) and Sara (a writer and graphic designer), a family with a 1-year-old baby that changed city living in Paris for country life in Cazals, a 600 inhabitants village in the Lot department, in the South of France.

We decided to start a common project as a family to share our daily life and passions in the countryside. Books and poetry, photography, gluten-free food, stationery, handmade jewellery and decoration objects, ethically made, are some of the highlights, but mainly rural lifestyle. This is not about trends, but about a new life in connection with nature, its seasons, wild living, healthy food, handwork, traditions and new challenges and opportunities.

You can follow as on Instagram and Twitter.