From a Gesture of Taking to a Gesture of Giving

After thinking so much about Halloween and the gesture of taking that it seems to bring out in my children, the upcoming celebration of Martinmas feels almost healing. While Martinmas is a European tradition celebrating the story of St. Martin--a Roman soldier who shared half is cloak with a cold beggar and later, reluctantly, became a Bishop--we have been celebrating it with our Waldorf school since the children were young.

When they were young, we celebrated with a Lantern Walk. The children made beautiful lanterns and gathered in the dark to sing and walk through the woods. It was a quiet, glowing, beautiful evening where I like to think their hearts were renewed with a little bit of light and spark for the coming darkness of winter. I know mine was--I always left the walk just glowing inside.

Now, that they are older and don't go on a school lantern walk, I want to bring a deeper understanding of St. Martin's message of giving and caring. This year, we are organizing with H's class a clothing drive for our nearby shelter. We'll go and help organize the clothing room and learn a bit about the services the shelter provides.

We're also going to have a Martinmas dinner. We'll have all our lanterns lit, perhaps a goose, some Nouveau Beaujolais,, and definitely a bonfire and songs. I'll post photos next week!

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