When the year began I intended to write a post at least once a month and even dreamed of weekly updates. That focused was lost when the school year started and my focus shifted to the children and the daily and weekly rhythms of the classroom. I wish I had more hours in the day to make it all happen but some things stand out as more important than others. As I strive to not spend all my time outside of school on the computer, I decided to lower my expectations for the blog. Now we are half way through the year and I am feeling drawn to write something down about our year. Again the word blessing comes to the forefront of my mind. Our school community has been such a gift in my life and Scott’s life.
It is hard to believe it is half way through the school year already! Although the days are long and dark, the light has returned and with it the promise of spring and renewal. I hope to update the blog more and attempt to share the magic that we’ve enjoyed inside our schoolhouse. In the meantime, I’d like to share some pictures from the first half of our year.
St. Michael beckons with his hand
To follow him through Autumn’s land.
Heart’s sun to seek to give us light
To keep our courage shining bright.
- D. Harris & S. Price
The beginning of school brought the well-loved celebration of Michaelmas. Michaelmas is a celebration of the harvest and the point in the year of equal night and day. It is a time when we strive to achieve balance between the darkness and light within ourselves. The spirit of Michael beckons us to find the spirit and strength to come alive while the natural world around us is dying.
At the Little Round Schoolhouse we heard the story of St. George, who with his sword, spirit, and cape subdued the dragon and brought light to a village that was once afraid of the darkness. Together we dyed silks with dye the children made from collected goldenrod. We are lucky enough to have a lot of goldenrod on our small property and many families also spent the weekend harvesting. It was magical to watch the water turn the brightest gold and even more magical to watch our white silks turn into capes of golden light! We also planted bulbs, made dragon bread, and pressed cider.
Weekly yoga with Scott has become a much loved ritual in our schoolhouse.
Our second big celebration was Martinmas and the Lantern Walk. Martinmas is a holiday that recognizes the good deeds of Martin–a soldier that gave his wool cloak to a beggar outside on a cold winter’s night. Martin inspires us to share the light within us, especially during a time of increasing darkness. To celebrate, we created handmade lanterns–each child worked with surprising focus for two weeks to create a beautiful lantern. We then gathered together at sunset and lit our lanterns and walked and sang. Our path was lit with candles; our steps were slow; and our voices were sweet.
I walk about with my lantern
My lantern about with me
Above the stars are shining bright
Down here on earth shine we
My light shines bright
Through the darkest night
La bimmel, la bomma, la boom.
My lantern, my lantern
Sun and moon and stars
Put out all your lights!
Put out all your lights!
So my lantern may truly shine bright
I leave you with this image–our schoolhouse in the snow a couple weeks ago. The schoolhouse still looked magical in the snow but felt empty without the children. It was only a matter of days before it was again warm with the movement and voices of children.
Silently, slowly, the snow falls down
Silently, slowly over the town.