As the northern hemisphere tilts away from the sun and we approach winter in this part of the world, it is the natural way for all of life to seek warmth. We see life retreat to the warm center of the earth as the trees siphon the life from their leaves into themselves, and critters burrow down deep into the soil.
We, the people, seek warmth at this cold turning of the year. We layer our clothes, and stoke our wood stoves, or turn on our heaters. In this season and as the year deepens, many of us will celebrate festivals and holy days that offer us a way towards soul and spirit warmth…a calling to shine our inner light.
At this time in November, it is a tradition of Waldorf schools to hold a Lantern Walk Festival, also known as Martinmas. The origins of this festival are linked with the story of a soldier named Martin who used his sword to slice his cloak in half and offered it to a person in need on a very cold night. In connection with this act of compassion and generosity, lanterns are lit, and we carry them with us as we walk through the night with our children, singing and sharing our light and warmth.
In years past, our Lantern Walk Festival was held for the younger children and their families of Asheville Waldorf School…early childhood, first and second grade. Since everything is different this year in 2020, a year with a pandemic, we will not be holding our community festival. However, we would love to hold the festival in a new form where every class can participate…by sharing our warmth with those most in need. We are partnering with BeLoved Asheville to support their Winter Gear Drive. We will be collecting donations of coats, sleeping bags, blankets, and a variety of other items. As your winter gear comes out from hiding, perhaps you’ll find items ready to pass on!
May my soul bloom in love
for all existence.
Marigold Nursery Teacher
Social Harmony Co-Chair