Tuesday, November 11, 2014
An important part of the Waldorf lifestyle and education is the celebration of festivals throughout the year. Since our family doesn't follow any specific religion, I appreciate how many of the holidays are presented from a historical, spiritual, and community-based perspective. They are also grounded in the seasons of nature, which we try to focus on with Millie Bea.
November 11th is Martinmas, or Saint Martin's Day, when schools and communities gather after dark for a lantern walk. I had never heard of it until I started learning about Waldorf, but there is a lot to like about this festival. The very short version of the history is that Martin was a Roman soldier who showed generosity and kindness to a beggar on a very cold night in November. While other people passed by the beggar, Martin stopped and cut his own cloak in two with his sword to clothe the man. That night, Martin had a dream that the beggar was Christ, and so his good deed had been in service to all mankind. The lanterns represent our inner light, and what we have to share with others. It is the beginning of the season of giving, and also reminds us to cherish the light as the darkness of winter sets in.
So, you may be wondering what all this means to a toddler. I kept it very simple with a craft and a poem, and the knowledge in my heart that we are laying the foundation for her bright and beautiful future in this lifestyle we have chosen.
The sunlight now is dwindling,
My little lamp needs kindling,
It's beams shine far in darkest night,
Dear lantern, guide me with your light.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Today we went on the most wonderful family walk through the woods. The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, and we barely saw another person. We were out for about two hours and Sneaky Pete was off his leash the whole time in the woods. Millie has a bad cold and congested cough, so she wanted to be carried a lot more than usual, but she also walked and ran a lot. Sweet little lamb, looking for deer and collecting acorn caps to use as "cookies" for her baby dolls.
We took about 18 photos of interesting things, and I made them into an 11x14 collage poster on Snapfish. It should come in the mail next week and I'll hang it in Millie's new work space (which is just a table and empty shelf right now).
We also had an eventful bird watching day at our backyard feeders- 4 big blue jays, 2 tufted titmice, a baby(!) woodpecker, a male cardinal, and what I think was some type of vireo (gray, green, and yellow). And of course sparrows and squirrels...
Here are a few of the photos from the woods:
Hope you had a lovely weekend!