The harvest festival & the power of make-believe

STEEPED BY SAMIA #5 | 9.15.22
My backyard slipped away, as the world of the harvest festival took shape.

Growing up, my brother and I went on make-believe adventures in our backyard. Battling goblins to protect a far-off kingdom, with newspaper swords and plastic field hockey sticks as our horses. Sitting up-side-down on our patio swing — our rocket ship — visiting wild & wacky planets and stealing milk from the milky way. Every corner of our backyard was transformed and utilized, poked and prodded, in our shared imagination.

I’ve been reflecting on childhood memories a lot lately (you’re going to see this theme more on Steeped by Samia!), and I’ve only recently started to think about these adventures. They were such a formative part of my identity as a storyteller and creative.

A couple of weeks ago, I took Zayn for a walk in the backyard.

A woodland fairy cat

He led me behind the shed to nibble on some grass (but grass hurts Zayn’s stomach, so I have to stop him from eating it, lol). Dead leaves and pine needles litter the ground behind the shed. They are remnants from the grand trees that used to hang into our yard, the ones that the neighbors decided to cut down last year. I saw a peach seed and an unripe persimmon. Something about this sight transported me to a memory.

I was probably 6 or 7 years old, playing make-believe in the backyard. Closing my eyes right now, I remember the rustle of trees in the breeze and the chatter of squirrels and birds. Twigs and colorful leaves covered the cement floor, along with walnut shells, acorns, smashed persimmons, and small, shriveled apples.

“Woodland animals must have gathered these for the harvest festival,” I imagine my younger self musing. 

With a tree branch in hand, I arranged everything I could find into a little feast. I set out a few pastel-colored plastic plates and utensils that came with a play-cooking set. I chatted with small creatures, visible and invisible, about the harvest festival menu: a creamy pumpkin soup, stir-fried wild mushrooms, hot cocoa. I imagined there was a little village of mushroom and tree stump houses surrounding me.

My backyard slipped away, as the world of the harvest festival took shape. I was privy to this secret microcosm of nature and the wonderment of autumn’s decay.

That’s the beauty of make-believe, isn’t it? Time feels infinite.

Threads of imagination weave into an on-going story, beckoning you to stay. The very idea of it, that reality is not quite reality, feels like such a liminal thing. The bush up ahead isn’t a sleeping giant, but for the time being, it is. Life feels a little more mystical, a touch more expansive.

This memory of the harvest festival fills me with the excitement of possibility and curiosity. I guess this is a reminder to myself — and maybe to you, too — to relish the moments of whimsy in our day-to-day lives. Welcome to the harvest festival. —S.A.

Steep On This (autumnal/spooky edition):  

Catch Up:  

8.23.22 | A hospital is not an art museum, but it can be

Steeped by Samia #4: CW Note: This post mentions some heavy experiences of having a parent with a life-threatening illness/cancer and visiting them at the hospital.

About This Blog:

Steeped by Samia is a space where I can simmer on thoughts & curiosities in the scope of digital culture, creativity, life, & more. Far too often, my writing ideas fizzle out in energy; I never get to see them to their full potential. While building my rhythm with writing, I want to share these ideas with you. 

Stay Up-To-Date on my blog by clicking the ‘follow’ button at the bottom of the page, and you will receive an email every time I post. I aim to post a new installment at least once or twice a month. Thank you for supporting my storytelling! 🧡

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