As children live in such wonder of the world, they receive and experience joy in their explorations and discoveries each new day. A gift we as adults sometimes forget we possess! Through this pure gesture of enchantment with their encounter of the world we live in, children rekindle in us as parents and adults a new reverence for life.
Meaningful festivals help to root our children into the life’s rhythms and the continuity of times as we celebrate them seasonally and annually. The children are nourished by the festivals and associated activities such as learning songs and stories, decorating their classroom, helping to prepare their festival meal and making festival craft. Our journey through the seasons is one which gives form to the children’s natural reverence for nature and their instinct for celebration, encouraging a healthy sense of community.
So, now at this time of the year, when we at the southernmost point of the Southern Hemisphere experience the Winter Solstice, we are at the furthermost point from the sun. The themes we work with at this time bring a picture of warmth and light within the dark. Images we experienced at ring time are all of the baby seeds & creatures of the forests, mountains and fields coming into mother’s earth’s warm care for their winter’s sleep. The little gnomes are mother earth’s helpers and they rely on their lantern to light their path so they may perform their tasks. The children in my class have made paper lanterns for our festival celebration.
As adults we may experience an elevation out of everyday difficulties and struggles through acknowledgment of festivals. They are indeed about reaching out to our spiritual connections and observing nature in order to experience the true meaning behind the festival, we must consciously apply our will.
The soul picture brought to us by the festival of Light (St John’s), is that of a little flame, housed in the body (thus the lantern symbolism) taken on a journey through darkness, which finally leads to the source of the flame. This can be seen as a metaphor from the view that through being intently conscious of our actions, intentions and words (all our ways) we may illuminate our circumstances and furthermore readily anticipate and grapple with obstacles or hindrances that we encounter along our path. Fire’s most noble quality is its ability to transform substances, in the same way that applied consciousness transforms the soul. St John’s message and words have an inner fire of spiritual connection that kindles enthusiasm and is of great encouragement to us to break through barriers and change our own inner lives, and is certainly an inspiration to me ……
Enjoy a warm and safe winter break!
Kelly Collier Playgroup Teacher