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Friday, September 30, 2011

This Moment

A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama. A single photo. A moment to treasure.

Michaelmas: A Time For Bravery and Growth

Like many other Waldorf-inspired families, we celebrated Michaelmas yesterday, and throughout the week building up to the day.

There are many ways to teach and commemorate the day.

A popular tradition is to make "Dragon Bread." We used a recipe found in The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book.

Because the boys are still quite young, we focused on the theme of bravery by simply talking about times that call for bravery and, with Aidan, who is 6 year-old, reading about Saint George who slew the dragon in: Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges.

In the book, Princess Una prays for St. George the knight to heal from the dragon's fiery assault, which he does. Aidan and I discussed the power of prayer and why it is important to pray for other people.

Shane, who is just 3, played and slept with his toy dragons, one of which resides at our nature table.

While he claims dragons are "bad" he is ready to offer them love in the same breath. Forgiveness comes so easily to my little squire. (Later he defeated many dragons with his sword.)

Throughout the next week we will talk about archangel Michael (Revelation chapter 12), explore the Armor of God (Ephesians 13), and read The Squire and the Scroll by Jennie Bishop. A tale of the rewards of a pure heart.

And hopefully attend a Michaelmas play hosted by the Corps de Michael.

While "slaying dragons" is a metaphor for bravery and Spirit-filled boldness in every-day life for my children, it is also true for me. As I look to the upcoming Autumn, nature is moving toward a state of decay with the promise of a new day and new growth in the spring. In a way, that is how life is. As the weather cools and we are drawn indoors, I will take time in to wrestle with my own challenges, dragon's if you will, and look forward to a time of renewal and growth. Just as Rudolph Steiner said of Autumn, "Nature-consciousness must be transformed into self-consciousness." so the rhythm of the seasons encourage me to look inward and then outward.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Three Times Around the Sun

(In the Waldorf community, young children hear a unique birthday story every year often involving the rainbow bridge. It grounds them and provides a special sense of security, belonging, and abiding love.)

Today my youngest son, Shane, turns three. After a fun filled day, he will settle down and hear his birthday story.

Shane's Birthday Story

Once upon a time there was a little child named Shane who was still with the angels in heaven and he was very happy there. He looked at the beautiful colors and danced to the lovely music, and that was where he belonged. One day the clouds parted in heaven and Shane saw the beautiful green earth below with all the people happily playing and working. He saw all the colors of the rainbow on the earth. He saw lambs frolicking and birds flying in the air. He saw fish swimming in the sea and all the different plants that covered the earth. He saw children climbing trees running and jumping in the meadows and walking through sand and leaves. It was all so beautiful and seemed to beckon him to come and he longed to go there and see what it was like.

So he said to his angel, "Please, may I go down to earth now?" But his angel looked at him and said, "No, God says it is too soon. You must wait a little while yet." So the child went and was content to wait his time. Then one day again he saw a glimpse of the earth through the clouds again. He saw people doing their work. He saw train conductors, teachers, and farmers. He saw mothers and fathers loving their children. Then he saw a beautiful woman, strong man, a little boy and a grandma who loved each other and longed for another child to come into their family.

He went to the angels and told them of all he had seen. He told them of the woman and the man and the grandparents. He told the angels of the love he was feeling for the Earth family and of his deep desire to be with them. The angels smiled with joy... "This is your family! Now is the perfect time for you to join them" they told him. "We will take you down the Rainbow Bridge to Earth so that you may live with them and be their son."

Late that night, a beautiful rainbow bridge stretched from heaven to earth and on it came the child as a tiny baby. He came right into his mother's loving arms. As the mother and father looked at their precious son, they smiled and whispered, "We will call him Shane Joseph."

In Shane's first year, he spent much time with his mama. He often hugged his father and played peek-a-boo with his big brother. He also learned to call his grandma, Yaya. That year, he met many people who were glad he arrived.

In Shane's second year, his family all traveled to a Magical Kingdom. Shane loved to chase bubbles, run and his brother became his best friend.

In Shane's third year, he traveled across the country by train with his family and was amazed at the beauty as far as the eye could see. He learned to love nature and supplied the nature table with sticks, stones, leaves and feathers. His favorite songs include "Jesus Loves Me" and "Hush Be Still."

Now he begins his fourth year. Surely many adventures await.

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