From the Editor’s Desk :: December 2013
This time of year always seems to come abruptly and particularly so when Thanksgiving falls so close to the end of November. I hope you all had happy thanksgivings, on the day and through the month.
December is such a special month for us, it almost feels like we are stepping out of time. Weekends and weekdays tend to blur more so than at any other time of year.
Anticipation slowly builds through the month with the waiting for Saint Nicholas, sometimes a visit from Santa Lucia, the building of an advent scene, the advent wreath and the preparation for Christmas at our house. There is so much to do with building a living advent calendar of sorts, decorating the house, singing songs, baking and cooking holiday foods.
So we simplify and lean on the traditions that we love and are meaningful to us. We stay home unless it is something we just cannot resist going out for. This brings a quiet time of watching and waiting at home.
Warm wishes for Happy and Peace Filled Holidays to you and yours,
From the Editor’s Desk :: November 2013
My Dear Readers,
Where did October go? Here in the northeast we were blessed with sunny, warm days for much of October. The geese are flying overhead with their honk, honk, honking. Autumn’s carpet of leaves are beginning to lose their luster as we turn within to prepare for the cold, dark days of winter.
November is the month of remembrance and gratitude. It opens with days dedicated to the ancestors, remembering the gifts they brought and for some setting out gifts for the ancestors, to encourage a visit during these days and nights when the veil between the worlds is said to be at its thinnest.
Many are preparing lanterns to kindle the light and carry it into the dark of night with friends and family, with potlucks, songs, food and clothing drives and stories of Saint Martin.
We end the month in the USA with Thanksgiving, a day that for some is controversial. For those of us with small children, let us find and share the goodness in life on this day and everyday. In no time at all, the little ones with be teens ready to pursue justice and explore the sins of the fathers as they explore who they are and what light they might bring to the world.
I am thankful to you dear readers and to all who contribute to The Wonder of Childhood and make it possible in every way.
From the Editor’s Desk :: October 2013
Autumn has come to Northern New England with such a gentle touch this year. Brilliant reds, oranges and yellows on the leaves of the trees warm us as the sun begins to wane as it sinks down lower on the horizon. Mother Earth’s plant children are pulling in their energies, deep down into the earth where the root and bulb children are preparing for their long winter’s rest.
The days have been filled with sunlight and the air temperature mild enough that only a light layer is needed once the sun wears off the early morning chill and dew.
Warm soups and stews fill the house with goodness and comfort. The ovens warmth is noticeably pleasant. Fires in the hearth take the chill out of the house on shady days.
I am always astonished at the fullness of autumn, the harvest moon seems bursting as it rises at sundown. Apple ripe on the trees wait patiently to become apple sauce, apple rings and apple pie. The pumpkins are plump and deep orange. The winter squash are plentiful.
The days are full as well, with harvesting the last tomatoes, drying herbs to take us through winter and finding the last of the squash hidden under the great full leaves and vines that fill a corner of the garden.
As I take in this fullness, sometimes breathless with all the work to be done, I feel such gratitude for the fullness and goodness of this world.
A few words from a Van Morrison tune for the season:
“Well, it’s a marvelous night for a Moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
‘Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I’m trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the night’s magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush.”
Listen to it here.
From the Editor’s Desk :: September 2013
“The golden-rod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.
The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.
The sedges flaunt their harvest,
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook,
From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.
By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.
But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.
T’is a thing which I remember;
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September
I never can forget.”
~ Helen Hunt Jackson, September
From the Editor’s Desk :: August 2013
Sing me a song, oh! Please!
A song of ships, and sailormen,
And parrots, and tropical trees;
Of islands lost in the Spanish Main,
Which no man ever may find again,
Of fishes and corals under the waves,
And seahorses stabled in great green caves.
Oh, Sea-shell, Sea-shell,
Sing of the things you know so well.
From the Editor’s Desk :: July 2013
“Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” ~ Walt Whitman
Here we are in the northern hemisphere in full summer. The meadows are ablaze with wildflowers in blossom, the roadsides are bedecked with chicory and Queen Anne’s Lace and we are feeling ourselves pulled towards the warmth of the sun and the lightness of the day.
For our readers in the summer hemisphere, the experience is the opposite, Mother Nature nudges a pulling in and a resting deep within of the earth’s forces.
This month we bring you some new contributors with articles on the use of essential oils for health and homemaking as well as a look at a Waldorf homeschooling family’s experience of the dreaded word – chores. This exploration might transform you view of chores forever. We’ll look at some of our readers work in the community too.
Gentle breezes and warm hearths,
From the Editor’s Desk :: June 2013
Hello Dear Readers and Hello June!
In the Northern hemisphere, the expansive mood of Mother Nature draws us out of doors into her warm, welcoming bosom. June brings the flower blossoms in full swing with buzzing and swarming bees, butterflies flitting from flower to flower and warm humid days ending with intense thunderstorms. The dog has found his cool spot in the shade. The garden is giving up the first of its June crops, baby lettuces, spinach, radishes and strawberries.
The children are like the butterflies flitting around in the garden, until the late afternoon heat overtakes them and they like the dog, need a cool spot and a rest from the heat and excitement of the day. The hens are rolling around having sand baths in their shaded hideaways.
Dinner becomes a time of gathering in from the heat, pulling in from the day and letting go of some of the excitement and energy. After dinner walks often lead to star gazing when the thunder clouds are not clapping.
I encourage you all, my dear readers, to find your place in the sun and the shade and settle in for a simple, slow family summer.
From the Editor’s Desk :: May 2013
Hello Dear Readers,
Here in the north, we welcome Lady Spring in May, the long days full of sunshine and warmth are so embracing, beckoning to us, come find your place in the sun and shade and drink in the goodness of spring. Little by little this month will bring the blossoms of spring, tulips, lilacs and apple blossoms are some of my favorites.
From the Editor’s Desk :: April 2013
My Dear Wonder Keepers,
This time of year, of newness in the air, of stirring and pushing upward from the ground with such great forces, this time of new light and a new lightness of being that carries us all outside with joy for the new warmth and light, this time of wonder in the year seems so fitting to recall the words of Rachel Carson whose writing was the spark for the name of this magazine:
“If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.”
“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”
From the Editor’s Desk :: March 2013
March roars in like a lion
The wind so cold,
It seems to pierce.
The month rolls on
And Spring draws near,
And March goes out
Like a lamb so dear.
The month of March brings hints of spring, smells, moistness in the air, swelling buds and here in Vermont, smoke rising from sugar houses where sap is being evaporated to make sweet and delicious maple syrup.
The light is growing stronger as the days lengthen and the children can play outside noticeably longer.
The adults look at each other and say, “Can you believe it, it’s nearly 6:30 and not quite dark yet.
The hens are laying daily eggs again and the path to the hen house gives way with mud.
Boots rest by the door at the end of the day, coated in mud.
Puddles arrear one day to be transformed into ice the next.
So much wonder to experience.
Blessings on your springing!
From the Editor’s Desk :: February 2013
“If Candle-mas Day is bright and clear,
There’ll be two winters in the year.”
Here we are in February, the second and shortest month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars.
February, in the northern hemisphere, is a month of stirring, deep within Mother Earth’s womb. We are still deep in winter yet glimpses of Lady Spring are seen in swelling buds, muddy days, wet mushy snow and that smell in the air that comes only in Spring.
February unfolds with Ground Hog Day as well as the the ancient celtic holy day celebrating the goddess Brigid who still reigns in Ireland and among poets. The Catholic Church remembers the Saint Brigid and celebrates Candelmas, another celebration of the light.
The new moon on the tenth heralds in the start of festivities and celebrations in honor of Chinese New Year. Celebrations continue for fifteen days with the Lantern festival bringing in the Year of the Snake, this time around it is the watery snake.
Gung Hay Fat Choy!
From the Editor’s Desk :: January 2013
Happy New Year!
From the Editor’s Desk :: December 2012
“You darkness, that I come from,
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes
a circle of light for everyone,
and then no one outside learns of you.
But the darkness pulls in everything;
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them!—
powers and people—
and it is possible a great energy
is moving near me.
I have faith in nights.”
- Rainer Maria Rilke, On Darkness
Dear Wonder Readers,
Each year it feels like we slide into the month of December with so many activities ahead, tree lighting, Winter Faire, decorating, cooking and baking and family get togethers… yet we begin the month in Advent for those of us who celebrate the four weeks of quiet, watchful waiting for the birth of the Son of Love and Light. For some folks, the birth is of the Sun, also imbued with Love and Light. It is a time of drawing in and paying attention while being present in the world and filtering t for our children. A lot to accomplish.
This month I am bringing you something new, something I have been wrestling with since the start of The Wonder of Childhood. When I began the magazine I wanted to include an interview each month and set out doing recorded interviews with folks from all walks of Waldorf education, schooling, parenting and home education. They tended to be long as my guests had so much of interest to share. When I tried to transcribe them, I struggled with conveying the mood of speech and the nuances that come through the spoken word.
After months and months, well over a year to be more exact, I realized, with the urging of a more technologically advanced friend, that I could just share the Interview as is,with you, an audio interview so you my dear readers would hear the nuances of the spoken word and enjoy the fullness of the interview.
This month I bring you an Interview with Christine Schrierer of The Puppenstube on The Role of the Doll in the Life of the Child. To receive this Interview and others to come, subscribe to The Wonder of Childhood e mail list here.
May the wonder of advent and Christmas be kindled within you and yours,
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