As the dark falls upon us we must let our inner light shine
We have been preparing all week to celebrate our first Martinmas as a family. Our homeschooling journey so far as been flavoured with quite a bit of Waldorf inspiration and with Reece getting a bit older we decided to start to celebrate some of the wonderful Waldorf festivals.
If you are not familiar with Martinmas, it is the story of St. Martin. St. Martin was a soldier in Rome in the 4th century. Legend says that one wintery night he met a poor beggar, half-naked and freezing. Martin removed the heavy military cloak from his shoulders and, drawing his sword, cut it in two, and gave half to the beggar. That night, Christ appeared to Martin in a dream, wrapped in the same piece of cloak Martin had given the beggar, and said: “Martin has covered me with this garment.” Martin became the patron saint of beggars, drunks and outcasts, dedicating his life to assisting the unfortunate and downcast. Martinmas celebrates his kindness, compassion and selflessness. Lanterns are a traditional part of the celebration as a reminder of the light that shines in each and every one of us, and that we must share and spread this light.
As we began our lantern preparations earlier in the week we chatted with Reece about sharing and giving. We talked about how some people don't have a home, food to eat or clothes to wear. It is not an easy thing for my little man to understand, but that is okay, we will continue to talk about this things, especially now during the holiday season.
We all sat down together on Wednesday to do some watercolour paintings, which would later become our lanterns. I found a wonderful tutorial here. It was the first time the three of us have shared craft time together and it was very special. On Friday we put the lanterns together and let them grace our table.
On Sunday morning we planned a few things. First, it was off to the Remembrance Day Ceremony. This is always such a touching, gratitude filled ceremony and this year was no different. After the ceremony we took Reece to the grocery store and we went shopping for food to share with our community. We collected soup, pasta, tomato sauce, beans, rice, crackers and some baby food. We packaged it up at the cashier and together we went and placed it in the collection box. Again, I am not sure how much Reece understands, but if we begin now it will be something he gains an awareness about as time passes.
Then it was home for an afternoon of family time. Reece was pretty excited to light our lanterns, and to be honest, we all were. They looked amazing! We enjoyed a lovely dinner by the light of the lanterns and shared conversation, laughter and love around our table.
Martinmas was the perfect first Waldorf festival for us to celebrate and we are looking forward to the many wonderful festivals coming up in the next few months.