Martinmas

When our children were young, we attended a lantern walk at our school in celebration of Martinmas. The children walked through the dark woods with lanterns in their hands, singing songs. Over the years they made paper lanterns, jar lanterns (my favorite for safety), tin lanterns, and balloon lanterns (my favorite for beauty).

It was a simple event, perfect for young children who don't need to think deeply about this important turning of the year, this turning to quietude, thankfulness, and giving. Rather, it provided a picture for their little souls--a spark of light, deep in the night.

At home, I read this sweet story about a little girl and an injured goose and how she had to let her own desires go in order to help the goose.

Sadly, the girls have outgrown the lantern walk, but not the need to consciously turn toward the new season which is upon us. We're doing this in a couple of ways this year--we'll be taking some time to celebrate that gesture of giving that we each have deep within us, by both actively reaching out and by speaking quietly to that spark within.

Last year, we took part in Soulemama's baby cap project for Haiti. I'm now hunting for another such project. I have just purchased this new book to share with the girls this week. Perhaps it will provide us with some inspiration.

Helen is also working on a food and clothing drive this week for our local shelter. After the kids stock shelves, the families will all be coming to our house for a Martinmas potluck and bonfire. Here are the invitations we made. They are tiny paper lanterns with the invites rolled up inside.


We'll put all our Ikea lanterns along the drive and our homemade lanterns inside. We'll have as an electricity-free evening as possible.

After we enjoy the warm food and friendship, we'll venture into the dark to watch sparks from the bonfire rise high into the sky. While we won't be singing our lantern walk songs, hopefully those sparks will touch the teens just as the little lights in the lanterns did when they were young. Take a moment this week and celebrate that spark deep within.

Jane  – (November 9, 2009 at 11:54 AM)  

I have fond memories of the lantern walk when J attended Waldorf Kindergarten. I loved the song, High and Blue the Sky!

Martha  – (November 9, 2009 at 12:15 PM)  

You've planned such a memorable evening...and thanks for the reminder about Amy's Goose...I'd better go find that!!

Quiltin' Mama  – (November 9, 2009 at 12:44 PM)  

Sounds like a great evening planned.

If you have not been here- you may like it.http://crafthope.com/

Our local Ronald Mc Donald House always has needs that my children/teens enjoy contributing to.
I realize there are none close to you- Springfield or Burlington but maybe a similar but different group.

Dawn  – (November 9, 2009 at 6:03 PM)  

This sounds like a great way to make Martinmas meaningful for older kids. I love these ideas, and the knitting book looks like one I'd like to check out. Have a great Martinmas!

Jane  – (November 9, 2009 at 8:03 PM)  

Sarah, I'd love to hear of any crafting service ideas you come across that someone with limited knitting and sewing abilities could participate in.

sarah  – (November 9, 2009 at 8:41 PM)  

I love the way your celebrations are evolving and enriching over time.

renee ~ heirloom seasons  – (November 10, 2009 at 10:48 PM)  

What a lovely way to continue the tradition!
And I will have to write down that book, we love Tasha Tudor, but have only seen one of the books by her daughter.
I hope you have a wonderful Martinmas!

Christine  – (November 13, 2009 at 10:42 AM)  

We are a family inspired by waldorf and i wanted to thank you so much for sharing the festivals with us.

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