It strikes me as ironic that the adjective “simple” is used by the less loving among us to insult a person. In Scotland, “Are you simple?!” means are you dumb, stupid, intellectually-retarded?
It’s ironic because so many of us actively pursue a sense of simplicity, a stillness of mind, a simple way of being. As a complex individual I even think that a state of genuine simple-mindedness might be a form of self-actualization.
And this leads me to the glory of our indulgence in simple Autumnal bliss the other day (and yes, I do believe we did look ‘simple’ while we enjoyed it).
We had a woven basket and into this basket went Autumn leaves of every shade of green, yellow, gold, brown and red you can imagine. It’s so lovely to have an excuse to study the intricacies and minutae of our local neighbourhood – this day it was leaf collecting.
Huge sycamores in reds and brown, little beech leaves with serrated edges, birch leaves in shining buttery yellow and gigantic horse chestnut leaves – and oh! heaven – round, smooth, rich brown shiny conkers nestled in their perfect spiky green cases all velvety soft and yielding inside. We press them to our noses to smell as if their luscious looks weren’t enough for us.
And now, perhaps dropped by a fairy, a tiny acorn cup. Maybe this Leaf Fairy spilled her honey nectar drink when she dropped her acorn cup? Maybe a pixie stole it?
The basket is full, leaves blowing out as the wind rises. We rush through the long grass coated in rustley leaves thinking of newly fallen snow. We meet one of our neighbours – another lovely everyday thing; the chatting with neighbours. She sees the basket of leaves and bursts to tell us that even though she is in her 60’s she still rushes through crispy leaves in the Fall – she conspiratorially tells us she seeks out big piles for crunchy, scrunching, runching ravaging!
We smile. The dog is walked. We are tired too. We are all very simple you see.
Home. Block wax crayons. White paper. Leaves. Rub.
At the table we make stupendous graphic art, homages to nature, in moments just by rubbing a crayon over paper over a leaf (see above).
A simple thing. Simple art from simple leaf beauty. We are the only people in the whole world to have seen the detail of these leaves, their veins, skin, breaking down fibres, fading colors and seeping moisture.
Yes, we are simple.