This year, on Wednesday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m., Ashwood is inviting parents, alumni, and friends to participate in the Winter Spiral of Light celebration in the early-childhood center.
The winter spiral is a lovely tradition celebrated in Waldorf schools around the world. The theme is nonsectarian and embraces all beliefs; we honor simply the light that each of us brings to the world, particularly when we share that light with others. We especially need this as the days grow shorter and the light wanes earlier and earlier each day.
Participants quietly enter a darkened room. As soft music plays, each receives an apple “candleholder” bearing a taper. A large spiral of evergreens waits on the floor, adorned with golden stars. In the center of the spiral a tree stump supports a lighted candle. Each person walks, one by one, from the beginning of the spiral into the center and lights their candle from the central flame, then turns and walks back, setting their candle down on a golden star along the way. One by one, each small flame lights up the whole room. When everyone has walked, they leave the room silently to bask in the inner image of the glowing spiral as they wait in the foyer of the early-childhood center for the delivery of their candleholders, which all are invited to take home.
If you plan to attend, please arrive no later that 5:50; thank you!
Creating beautiful handwork can enrich our connection with the changing seasons. Cherry Short-Lee, longtime parent-child class leader and one of Ashwood’s founders, has offered to share her enthusiasm and expertise with parents of children ages 18-36 months, with or without their children, this fall. In three sessions, October 7, 14, and 21, from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m., learn to create grapevine wreaths and decorate them with natural materials to reflect the changing seasons. Sessions are free of charge; fee for materials is $5.00.
Register no later than October 2 by phoning or emailing Judith Soleil: 236-8021 ext. 105; firstname.lastname@example.org
The fifth grade has been busy exploring a wide range of cultures. We learned about Ancient India and Persia in October, and celebrated Deepavali in mid-November with a big, merry crowd of family and friends. In preparation, the class made oil lamps with Susan Junge, and created rangoli, or colored sand paintings, in their geometry class. For the festival, they dressed in silk costumes from India. The class enacted a ceremony for Lakshmi, the goddess of fortune, sang a kirtan to Siva, and performed an Indian village stick dance. Then we ate, drank, chatted, and romped with our families in honor of the lunar New Year. It was very meaningful and poignant to celebrate a ceremony that we first experienced with our dear teacher and colleague, Mrs. Kalmath.
The next day was our first assembly, and the class got to show some of their bookwork, sing a new song, and demonstrate their juggling and plate-spinning skills.
During our geography block, we got into an imaginary clipper ship and sailed from the waters of Greenland down to Cape Cod, then on to Chesapeake Bay, down past the Okefenokee Swamp, around the Everglades, through the West Indies, and on to the bayou in the Gulf of Mexico. We went around Mexico and Central America, then back up the Pacific coast, around Alaska, and into the islands of Northern Canada. I don’t think any of us knew there were so many places where alligators live, nor that there are people on our beautiful planet who don’t ever eat vegetables! We listened to music from different cultures of North America: Quebecois fiddle, Cuban son, Louisiana zydeco, Jamaican reggae… an extraordinary variety of styles. We ended the block up among the Inuit; in the spring, we’ll come home by…balloon!
—Class teacher Lesley Finlayson