The autumnal wind is howling courage and wistfullness
Golden splendour and autumn’s tear
Our pockets full with October’s treasures
Homeward bound through wind and rain
Autumn is a season of farewells. Changing scents in the air, mushrooms and falling leaves. Increasingly long shadows and fiery autumn colours. The days are rapidly getting shorter and with the approach of nature’s winter sleep, we bid farewell to the warmth and exuberance of summer in all its splendour. It is time to wake up from the summer slumber and to find one’s own strength again. We seek out life indoors again.
As a child, I always looked forward to the first weeks of October. We often went on adventures in the town forest then, looking for sweet chestnuts and hazelnuts. A long-stretched dirt track before we entered the forest, the air permeated with an incipient autumn smell caused by the first decaying leaves. First to the hill with the big tree whose roots wriggled over the ground and each other before seeking out the earth. Racing down, kicking the red-orange-gold-coloured leaves in front of me. Then seeking out the places where my father knew where the sweet chestnuts were to gather the red-brown fruits where oftentimes I pricked my fingers on the spikey husk. My father demonstrated how to use your shoes to open the husk without using your hands so that the chestnuts would be exposed. But this also required a lot of time compared to my available patience, and so chestnuts with husks – and sensitive fingers – often went home anyway. There we would roast some, but what I enjoyed most were chestnuts that were skinned and raw. It took hours of peeling to remove the bitter membrane. There was a certain point at which the membrane was easiest to remove. The chestnut shouldn’t have fallen too recently – then it would still be thick and sticky – but it shouldn’t have been lying around too long either, then it would be too far dried and difficult to get hold of. In between, you could sometimes pull the skin off in one or two passes. It was a hassle and earned me dirty and broken fingernails, but the scavenging trips and the taste of fresh crunchy chestnuts is etched in my memory.
Autumn is a rewarding season to make (blackboard) drawings of. Nature’s inward movement fits well with the focus that drawing requires. The dark blackboard lends itself perfectly to the shortening days and the red-yellow-orange hues of autumn come out fervently on it. Also the annual Lightfestivals also find a natural background on the blackboard. Chalk on a blackboard not only brings colour, but above all creates light, making full use of the blackboard.
As inspiration for my autumn drawings, I often draw from my own childhood, recalling moments I also wish for my children. But inspiration also comes from my children’s Waldorf education. I have come to celebrate the annual celebrations with my children. The celebrations are like beacons spread through the year, not only for them but also for me.
The annual return of the festivals make me aware of new things each year that belong to that specific moment of the year and the change of seasons. With my autumn and autumn celebration drawings, I hope to appeal not only to the imagination of the young child, but especially to the slightly older child and the grown-ups who may embrace the child in themselves and their dreams a bit more again.
Autumn greetings from the ‘Kapitein’
The autumn drawings of Kapitein Kalk on card and poster are now available in about 50 countries worldwide in collaboration with Mercurius International Partners. Ask for the Autumn cards and posters of Kapitein Kalk at your local Mercurius Partner: www.mercurius-international.com
As of Spring 2022 the artwork of Kapitein Kalk is worldwide available in about 50 countries via Mercurius, leading provider of supplies to Waldorf schools, kindergartens, and other Waldorf-inspired initiatives. Mercurius believes in the positive power of collaboration in the supply chain. They have built a worldwide network of Mercurius partners in about 50 countries. These Mercurius partners work together locally with the Waldorf organisations and customers in their own country. This way they serve customers with a personal touch, knowing the culture and speaking the native language.