Celebrating the Season of Light—Part 1
Sunday, November 18, 2012
I wish all of you a lovely Thanksgiving, filled with love, light, family and friends and, of course, good food. Thank you to all of you who were able to come to our Lantern Walk. I enjoyed sharing it with all of you. Even those who weren’t able to attend were part of the preparations. Our lantern festival celebrates the time of year when the days grow short and we light our path with our own inner lights. It is also a time to celebrate the warmth of community and the light that comes from being together. Seeing everyone in the lantern light as the light faded and hearing your voices joined together in song was a lovely moment—one that I will carry in my heart to keep me warm in the cold, dark days ahead.
Festivals are an important way to mark the cycle of the year, to create a rhythm bigger than our daily and weekly rhythms, to step out of the daily rhythms and create a sacred space. At school, our festivals celebrate the cycles of the year, the festivals that our families celebrate and sometimes in the grade school reflect the curriculum, as well. At home, our festivals may be religious or ones we create ourselves or ones we celebrate with a community or friends. In Heaven on Earth, Sharifa talks about festivals, about the importance of having some elements stay the same through the years while others change as our families grow and change. She talks about the elements of the festival—preparatory activities, festive foods, songs and stories. She stresses the importance of preparing early. The preparation is an important part of the celebration. It is wonderful to let your children help in whatever way they are able to help. I am also copying a poem for you about Advent—about how our visions of what we want to create often don’t meet the reality. It is written by Maureen Flannery, a long time member of our community and a wonderful poet—copied for you with the author’s permission.
Next week, we will talk about creating our festivals to be what we want them to be. I also will have some thoughts to share with you about approaches to gift giving.
To get ready for our conversation, I would invite you to think about “golden moments” in your memories of your childhood festivals.
Have a wonderful week!