Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Lady Spring..

My lady Spring is dressed in green,
 she wears a primrose crown..
and little baby buds and twigs are clinging to her gown...

The sun shines if she laughs at all,
and if she weeps, the raindrops fall,
My Lady Spring

~Nancy Foster

Yes, we surely were paid a visit by the lovely Lady Spring during playgarden this past month, and what a day this was!
I asked a friend who the children do not know or usually see to don a beautiful gown and arrive at our house to bring merriments of Springtime. 
She arrived during the short rest time of our morning circle, playing tunes on a pennywhistle. The children ran to the door and saw her standing bare foot, waiting to be let in. 

I wanted to this to be a very dreamy experience for the children; not many words...Lady Spring came in, recited a lovely Spring verse, played some songs on the lyre (which she unwrapped so very slowly from a beautiful rainbow silk) and gave us some special flower seeds to care for. She left through a song and we watched her pipe pennywhistle tunes all down the street. The visit lasted about 8 minutes and was just enough. We then went back into a short quiet rest time, which was perfect for the children to digest what had just happened.

I didn't mention or comment about anything that had taken place during the visit--rather, I wanted to give them children the freedom to let this experience echo on in their own way. Raising their consciousness to speak about such an experience; to search for the words brings them out of the dreaminess that is early childhood! My own adult explanations, feelings, and commentary aren't applicable or necessary here...

Spring is here,
Here is Spring!
Let us all rejoice and sing!

I've been getting a few emails asking for morning verses and songs...and also readers wondering where I am and asking if I am stopping posting! I am here-- I am just caught up in many aspects of life off of the computer- which is good. Many exciting things happening here-- family, playgarden, weddings, mermaiding (yes, it's a word!), Waldorf teacher training.....

Below is a video of our morning snack....our time at the table begins with a fingerplay which is always seasonal. I'll include the text at the end. It is very lovely and simple. Notice how engaged the children are in certain parts and with certain motions, and not as much with others. This is so interesting to me; what really holds them. 

After the verse, I move our angle candle over to one of the children to uncover our match for our mealtime candle. The fire fairies always leave us 2 matches each day-- 1 for snack, one for lunch. If there happens to be a third.....well, this is very exciting as the children know that this last match is left for a birthday cake-- someone's birthday! Horray!

Spring Fingerplay:
This is the meadow where all the long day,
10 little frolicsome lambs are at play!
And these are measures the good farmer brings..
salt in, and cornmeal...and other good things.
This is the rack wherein Winter the feed,
Hay makes a very good dinner indeed!
These are the shears for shearing the sheep,
nice, soft wool dear lambkins may keep.
These are the barn doors shut so tight,
and this is the barn where they all sleep at night...

Verse before Candle Lighting:
Fire Spirits, Fire Sprites, share with us your golden light...

(notice that I have some trouble getting the match to strike..I also sometimes wet the wick a bit with my finger, as the bit of moisture causes the flame to jump a bit-- delightful!)

Verse for Candle Lighting:
Here is a spark of Father Sun's Light, to keep in our hearts so warm and bright...

I hope this serves as inspiration to your morning mealtimes! Please feel free to contact me with any questions and I'll do my best to get back to you in a timely manner:)

Lastly, a few recent mermaiding pictures:)

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Seek & Find, Give & Receive

Hi there!
....I am back from a week at Sunbridge, continuing on with my studies in Waldorf ECE; handwork, Anthroposphy, working with the cycle of the year, Eurythmy, and sculpture! It was a very rich week and there is much to say.

The most exciting and thought provoking class of the day is our Anthroposophical studies block. As Anthroposohpy is the driving force behind Waldorf Education, it is important to be on the path of undertaking reading Steiner's work and lectures...discussion groups seems to be the best way to go about this. We've been reading Theosophy as a group for 12 weeks shy of a year now and the text and discussions have taught me much about becoming a close observer of human nature. One of the pearls of wisdom I took from class this week was the importance of the Christ Impulse. This is not at all to imply that Waldorf has anything to do with Christianity or any religion- it doesn't. The Christ Impulse can be seen as a force that is bigger than us, something that is all around us. And the impulse is Love and Light. That's it! Love and Light in all that we do, in all that we say. Can we embody this? Can we weave this into all that we are? I believe we can. This impulse is so important for early childhood caregivers.

We also spoke more of the 4 temperaments, but an in depth exploration is not necessary for early childhood caregivers. truly, a child's temperament does not emerge until the change of teeth (about age 7). As EC caregivers, our role is to be with the children as their temperament is slowly revealed. Many have found that Sanguinity is the nature of the young child...makes sense, yes? I wonder how many of you "know" your most strong temperament? I find that I identify most with Sanguine and maybe a touch of Melancholic:)

Our afternoons consisted of handwork and sculpture which rounded out the day nicely. I took many long walks to the community farm (lots of hills!) with my classmates after the day was through and found this to be a wonderful end to such a fruitful day.

Somehow, Easter has come and gone and the height of spring is upon us. Many photos to share another time soon....Eastertide is 40 days, so there is much celebrating still to be done!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


February has got to be the longest month. I know--it actually is the shortest, but what a time of contemplation and preparation. "Spring is Coming" and the songs are nearly bursting from my lips. I'm waiting for the right time to change over our Winter circle to the anticipation of Spring. Daffodils are on our table and our paperwhite bulbs have reached upwards and bloomed....filling our dining room with such a strong and musky fragrance. Although I prefer a later Easter, it seems fitting that Lent is here and now.

The children have been visiting an uprooted tree in our rose garden park for the past 4 months. Many trees were uprooted; fallen to the earth with their roots exposed for all to see-- like some sort of hidden secret now being told at full voice for the world to hear. Some of the children were taken aback by the magnitude of it all....seeing a part of something so familiar that they had never seen before. Over time, they've learned to climb upon it; their bodies sensing where to go-- where to place feet and hands....this experience, and any climbing or exploring experience where movements are unique (think of a tree versus playground equipment) proves to be a real body, mind, and soul experience. I feel they have really taken so much from revisiting this week upon week. Each day, they ask aloud, "I wonder if our tree will still be there...."

Muddy days are a plenty this time of year and we've been ankle deep in it. Some days, the mud room in our house looks like its been attacked my a huge bowl of chocolate pudding. I wipe many muddy faces; glasses caked with dirt and mud, wet socks, muddy teeth even. It's all a part of our day. The cold weather months are really a time for us to learn so much about personal care and dressing. Each child learns how to dress him/herself and to put their things away so they don't get lost. This is the most important part of our day, I think, our true life curriculum. 

I return to Sunbridge for teacher training March 18th. It feels like there is too much of a stretch of time in between and I crave some kind of artistic outlet, especially this time of year while yearning for the warm months. My new creative outlet was born out of this desire last Winter, but has truly come to life this Winter. I'm spending hours on the computer researching and planning (my eyes hurt. I don't like it.) and working a lot with my hands, too. It's been very rewarding thus far and I believe will continue to be even more fruitful in the months to come in so many ways. I'll describe everything in my next post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Candlemas...a few weeks later

Candlemas has come and went....and it seems like time is passing so quickly for me these days. It seems also like I don't have enough time in the day to record things in this space as I'd really like to-- to take my time, reflect, and put forth a good effort. I'm also taking on a new business and pleasure venture which is taking up much of my energy and time and keeping me awake at night with excitement. It's a good thing, but I'm tired.

Candlemas was observed during playgarden inwardly and very outwardly during my Sunday School class.


Once again making our Earth candles from the bits and ends of our beeswax candles which I collect throughout the year..


W helped me remove all pine boughs from the house on the Eve of Candlemas, just as we do every year. The needles were super dry on our dining room garland and getting stuck in my hair (!). They probably should come down sooner than this time, but I savor tradition too much...

Our sunday school story was simple- the story of the light of the world being recognized....a few visual pieces and a lot of wondering. 


We planted papwerwhite bulbs in jars filled with rocks. Mother Amy, a priest from our church, was kind enough to celebrate a candle blessing with the children where we blessed our classroom and home candles for the coming year..

Lent is now here. There is much to think about. I'm ready and wanting to find the time. I know I will.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The week of Candlemas...

Drake, the dwarf, buried a bulb
Deep in the woods where he did dwell,
 and soon when Spring was coming close,
 A little flower was seen to swell....
translated by Lori Widmer, author unknown..
from Freya Jafke's book Feste im Kindergarten und Elternhaus

The Candlemas bells are ringing....

Recalling last years Candlemas with the children and how this year will be different as the needs of the group are sought to be joyfully met...

This year I'll be doing the "outward "observance of Candlemas with my Sunday School family group....sheltering paperwhite bulbs in small mason jars with river stones, the blessing of household and classroom candles by one of our priests, and this beautiful song...

In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.....

(Hymn of Promise, Natalie Sleeth....my most favorite hymn)

I will inwardly observe Candlemas with the playgarden children this Friday as we experience the golden light in our home, remove all Christmas greenery, and create earth candles from the beeswax candle stubs and pieces I save in a special container all year long. It really is a culmination of many things....