In every season lives a story. Every child holds the seeds.
In the Waldorf community, we teach our children (and remind ourselves) to notice and respond to the rhythms, energies, and gifts of the seasons. The rhythms of the natural world often echo the seasons of our own lives. So, we celebrate our connections to each other and to Mother Earth with festivals and events that honor the larger life forces that live, simultaneously, within and beyond us.
As River Song prepares for each festival, we bring the stories, legends, songs, and natural materials of each season into our curriculum. Our teachers and staff share crafts, create puppet plays, prepare organic, seasonal foods and foster imaginative play indoors and out. The children honor Lady Spring and King Winter, they hunt for frost fairies and dance on the steps of their own shadows. Childhood is magical, just as the natural world has its magic and mysteries — especially through the eyes of our children.
Much of what you’ll read here represents adult experiences. So, how can we bring these adult experiences into the realm of childhood experience and meaning? We do so by finding our feelings, simple or complex, about this time of year and we hold that feeling for our children. Consciously. Mindfully. Presently. In the power of imitation, our children learn and grow in their human experience by reflecting what we have to offer, eventually making it or adapting it as their own. …Just as the great roots of the old oak tree are hidden in the small acorn, what we as adults carry consciously during each festival is like a seed planted in our children and in our community.
Our community likes to combine our celebrations for Michaelmas and The Harvest in late September. Our teachers incorporate this festival into their day with the children. They bring in an apple press to make fresh apple cider, share songs, and offer autumn-inspired crafts and games for the children. Following the legend of St. Michael, who courageously subdued the antagonistic dragon and conquered the imposing powers of darkness, we gather with friends to fortify ourselves against the coming winter. We also offer gratitude for the bounty of summer, celebrating the last of summer’s light before we walk forth into Autumn’s cloudy days and darkening nights.
Michaelmas will be celebrated in the classes on Friday, Sept. 25 as well as Tuesday, Sept. 29 so all children have the chance to enjoy this special time.
Lantern Walk is a community favorite! In late fall, we gather at sunset to warm ourselves with fresh bread and hot cider, often listening in on a short seasonal story before we light our lanterns and commence in a kind of moving meditation. Singing softly, we walk, carrying lantern lights that guide us, admiring the beautiful light of our own, and each and every lantern in our procession.
The deeper meaning of this festival is to recognize and honor the truth and beauty that lives in each one of us… despite how difficult that can be at times. The lanterns remind us that we can carry our own light into the darkest times (seasonally or spiritually). Our truth, our unique purpose, is ever there to guide us and to be found by others. Or, as our teachers have so beautifully expressed, “We come together to find strength in our recognition of each person’s light, to find strength by truly seeing others. We find strength in seeing how brightly we can light the way when we come together as a community.” In other words, through Lantern Walk, we teach our children (and remind ourselves) of our own unique light that not only lights our own way, but can be a beacon for anyone else who can see it.
Lantern Walk will be on November 13, 2015 at River Song.
Winter Faire is an event the entire community looks forward to. Every year during the winter holiday season, we gather for several hours at Club Tico by City Park. Families come and go as their schedules allow, and this is our most valuable school fundraiser. The festive mood is set with handmade decorations, delicious fare and live, seasonal music often performed by local children from the larger Waldorf community in Northern Colorado. With a silent auction featuring gifts and donations from families and local organizations, we also raise money with the sales of Waldorf-inspired books, toys, ornaments and hand-made scarves, mittens, beanies and more. Year after year, children are enchanted by our “Angel Room” — a special Winter Wonderland our teachers and parent volunteers create so our children, your children, experience the excitement and power of giving. Inside the Angel Room, children are invited to choose and wrap the *perfect* handmade gift or a special gift from Nature for their family.
Winter Faire will take place on January 16, 2016
“The light of the Sun gives strength
To all things on Earth;
The sunlight of truth gives strength
to the human heart”