The Winter Garden
Sunday, December 2, 2012
This week the Bluebells along with all the early childhood mixed-age kindergartens will journey through the Winter Garden on Tuesday, 12/4. I always look forward to this festival which takes place as the days have grown shorter and we feel the need to kindle the inner light. The Winter Garden festival is one of peaceful reflection as the children walk the evergreen spiral pathway and light their little apple candles one by one. I would like to share with you this description of the experience as written by Nancy Foster from a book titled: The Seasonal Festivals in Early Childhood: Seeking the Universally Human:
..the experience of the Garden reflects the human experience in the world of nature at this time of year: entering a time of darkness, of shorter days and longer nights, and going forward with hope to receive new light at the "rebirth" of the sun after the winter solstice. With the lighting of the small apple-candles, which are placed along the spiral of greens, we can foresee the growing light which will come as days gradually lengthen.
The Children's experience of the Garden can also be understood as a recollection of their own birth, which in each case brought a light of its own into the world. In the words of an experienced Waldorf educator, "Deep within the children's souls is stirred a memory of their own spiraling path down to earth, their dream of giving to the earth and all humanity their creative capacities, born of their own inner LIght." In the children's faces, we can often see a profound sense of purpose as they follow the spiral path inward, light their candle, and carry it outward to shine in the world, bringing light to us all.
The Bluebells will also be celebrating Sam's six and a half year old birthday on Friday. Happy half birthday, Sam!