Wednesday, November 2012
Each September, the Early Childhood program celebrates the changing of the seasons with a Harvest Festival, while the larger school community comes together to celebrate Michaelmas. This year, CWS saw both Michaelmas and the Harvest festival celebrations occur on the same day. As the days grew shorter, the Early Childhood enjoyed a bounty of seasonal food and autumn festivities. EC parent Al Wyatt remarked that “the real joy was brought by the kids. They exploded into the festival with games of tag and duck-duck-goose. Everywhere you looked, our bright-eyed children were dancing and twirling and taking part in pumpkin crafts.” Later that afternoon, students and teachers joined in a celebration of the archangel St. Michael to celebrate his spirit- one of courage, initiative, and steadfastness – and to draw on his deeds of legend to strengthen our own inner spirit and fortitude. As is tradition, Michaelmas was celebrated first by students cleaning up our neighborhood through garbage pick-up--to show reverence for our community--then followed with a parade and ritual reenactment of Michael slaying the dragon.
“My lasting impression as a parent was to marvel at the unity that permeated that beautiful autumn day. The students were energized and cheered excitedly during the relay races, and moments later responded together solemnly and maturely during the burning of the deeds.” -Joe Dupor, parent
Early Childhood parent cin salach reflected on the moving, free-spirited morning of the Harvest Festival. The energy and excitement of our youngest students as they participated in games and enjoyed seasonal apple cakes that they had helped bake created a memorable moment for parents. “The abundance of apple cakes that 'looked a bit different' was inviting and warm,” reflected Anna Gratzl. “They gave the festival a real harvest feel and I almost forgot our children’s hands made those yummy cakes!”
Following the Harvest Festival, the Grade School, High School, faculty, staff, and parents celebrated the traditional Waldorf Michaelmas Day, first with an assembly, then with a relay race and ritual slaying of the dragon. Students from grades 1 through 12 joined with faculty and staff to create teams and compete for prizes – includig handcrafted beeswax dragons lovingly made by Ms. Moskowitz’s second grade class. Parent Dawn Dingman reflected that the day truly felt like a community event, and that it was clear each student felt strongly connected both to their classmates and the school community.
Following the relay race, each student had an opportunity to burn a “deed”--as an intention of something to change in the coming year– in a community bonfire. Parent Joe Dupor reflects that: “My lasting impression as a parent was to marvel at the unity that permeated that beautiful autumn day. The students were energized and cheered excitedly during the relay races, and moments later responded together solemnly and maturely during the burning of the deeds.” “I burned my own intentions,” said Stephanie Arnett. “like our children, I made a list of my fears to 'burn' and visualized moving forward…who doesn’t have a dragon to slay?” Stephanie remarked that “I know our children will remember and meditate upon the meaning of Michaelmas throughout their lives, and I will admit I was one of the parents openly weeping at this event.”
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