Thursday, November 13, 2014
As we explore more aspects of the Waldorf philosophies we find ourselves embracing some new holidays and festivals. Martinmas, while based in Christianity, seemed to be a lovely way to celebrate the coming darkness of winter. We read the story of kind St. Martin, a knight in the army of Amiens. One night he came upon an old beggar, half-naked, shivering in the cold. St. Martin took the cloak from his back and, with his sword, cut it in two. He wrapped the old man in half his cloak, giving him not only warm but hope as well.
In preparation for the holiday, I did some reading about the traditional lantern walk. I talked about it with A and she seemed very excited about making the lanterns and walking through the night with friends. We used some paper we did leaf rubbings on to make these lanterns. We learned a song or two (Glimmer, Lantern Glimmer was new this year), and prepared a special warm treat to share with our friends on that cold night.
It was indeed very cold that night. We had to bundle up and unfortunately the wind prevented us from having an actual candle in our lanterns. The LED candles worked though and probably saved our lanterns in the end. The cold of that night helped to remind us of how cold the old beggar must have been and what a gift Martin gave in warming him with his cloak. We walked through our community gardens, sharing our light and singing our songs. When we stopped to share some hot apple cider (from the apples we juiced back in September) and ginger snap cookies, we talked about what special lights we have inside us to share with others.
The best description of the lantern walk's meaning that I found was from the Cincinnati Waldorf School's Facebook page. "So as we walk together with our lanterns, we may ask ourselves, “What ‘light’ - in other words, unique talents and gifts - lives within me that I can share with my family and my community?” There are countless ways, every day, in which parents and teachers act on behalf of their children. Loving guidance and patient understanding shine on the children like a lantern leading them on their journey through childhood. Let our Lantern Walk inspire and rekindle the light that lives within, and a reminder to take that light - those gifts that each of us harbors, and share them in the innumerable ways that are meaningful to ourselves and those around us"
We really enjoyed celebrating Martinmas this and I foresee this being an annual celebration for our family. Thank you to our friends who joined us on our walk. Your company made the celebration all the more enjoyable.