We had a little Martinmas celebration last night. I really love Martinmas. It's the very first festival of light that reminds of us our inner light. It's also a way to consciously turn from the gesture of taking at Halloween to the gesture of giving through the holidays.
Hels began her day by helping the 3-year olds in the Nursery to make their lanterns. Then she came home to make phone calls for a food drive she is organizing. We also spent some time looking at hat projects with the idea of making something warm for others. The hat on her head is one beginning prototype made from a recycled sweater.
Lou then got down the box of lanterns. We have quite the lantern collection after all these years--balloon lanterns, paper lanterns, jar lanterns, and a tin lantern.
She wanted to light them all and have an "electricity free" evening which we did. It was a bit nerve-wracking seeing as most of them are made out of paper and balloons, but we did it. She enjoyed carrying this one around the house. Jar lanterns aren't as exciting to make as balloon lanterns, but they allow Mom to breath a sigh of relief at the safety factor.
As we sat by the fire amidst all our lanterns, I read Amy's Goose which I keep tucked away and bring out just on Martinmas.
This lovely story is about a young girl who comes upon a goose that has been hurt by a fox. She cares for it while its mate circles above the barn calling for it, anxious to head south. She eventually puts aside her own wishes and lets it go. I like the story because it is full of beautiful autumn illustrations and is a reminder that we each have a giving spirit inside.
I pulled out Three Cups of Tea and Knitting for Peace for Hels to look at. I also showed her Soulemama's Mama to Mama hats so we could think of a charity project to make. Over these next weeks I want our thoughts to start turning toward the seasons of thankfulness and giving. If anyone knows of stories (fiction or non-fiction) about people who have given I would like to hear about them--especially if they would appeal to a 12 year old!
This is my little way of bringing a younger child's festival to my older children. We'll start our sewing projects this week and our neighborhood is having a potluck and lantern walk this weekend, so we'll get out there and sing away with our lanterns. While my girls might groan a bit, they will secretly enjoy it and look back fondly to these days.