Friday, July 22, 2011

An incredible journey...

Dear friends!
   I am so excited to share with you some reflections and photos from my inspirational week at Sunbridge College. I first want to thank so many of you who wrote me kind words, emails, comments, and sent well wishes to us as we embarked on this trip.

   I have so much to tell; so much to chew and digest from all of the wisdom I encountered during the past week. It will be lovely for me to use this blog as refelction space for the many, many inspirational and revolutionary experiencesI had during my stay in the Threefold Community. I'll most likely break this down into 3 seperate entries; recalling our weekly schedule.
   Upon arriving Sunday night, we counted our blessings as we discovered the beautiful house which we were guests for most of the week. The family was on vacation and still let us stay, even though they had never met us, spoke to us on the telephone...we didn't even have a mutual friend. They trusted us, which is something I don't think is common today. Staying in a family home made the transition much easier for W. The backyard view wasn't too bad, either:)

   While my father cared for W during the week, I was in class from 8:30 am-9:00 pm, with well timed breaks in between. Our first night was an introduction to the "Three R's of Waldorf Early Childhood Education".....



We spoke about how "life is rhythm, and rhythm is indeed life." Rhythms grow out of repetition; the child comes to sense what is happening next during the day. One of my moments of clarity during this evening came with the phrase, "It's not what you do, but rather how you do it or why you do it." I feel like this can ring true especially with Waldorf teachers or home educators. Do we embark on, say, beeswax modeling because we want to? Or because we feel like we have to? Do we do it with joy and spirit? Or do we go through the motions; all the while, the children surely sensing this....
   Let me assure you, it was easy to relax and pay close attention during class while sitting in this beautiful Kindergarten room....

    The next morning, we arrived as "kindergarteners" to a beautiful classroom set up for a typical kindergarten morning. We played just as if we were children, with all the time in the world.

 We sat for a "shoe" themed circle, which was incredibly fun. Every single song and fingerplay was so catchy and joyous, I was starting to wonder how in the world I was going to retain all of this information! (luckily, we were given a rather thick resource folder full of songs, verses, articles, etc.) Our hands were washed in a cool bowl of lavender water and gently patted dry with a soft towel after rest time and before snack. We played outside, climbed trees, and looked for a special object from nature to bring back inside with us.

   Upon coming inside, we were led into a circle, and a piece of beeswax was pressed into our hands, which were now serving as "little ovens." The teacher told a beautiful story about a lily, a child, the sun, and a grandmother who shows the little girl how to work with beeswax; a gift from the flowers, the bees, and the sun. By the end of the story, the wax had warmed in our hands and was beautifully pliable. We shaped it into flowers and placed it in a "beeswax garden", along with the object we had discovered outside.

It was a warming, meaningful, and sensory experience. I can only imagine how magical this would be for a child.
A lengthy discussion followed, as it would for the rest of the week after any activity. There were 33 of us in this class, and I have never been around more magical people. There was something about each person; I could understand why they were there. They had a spark. We were instant friends and travellers together. We were in awe; we wiped tears away numerous times during the week. My eyes burned almost hourly...even just at the sound of a single note played on the glockenspiel.

I have so, so much to say, but the 102 degree weather and pure exhaustion is leading me to crawl into bed, rather continue writing. I must remark, however, that this trip truly revitalized me. I awoke to many concepts...and it was helpful to have ample time to sit, concentrate, absorb, and reflect. I missed W and my home terribly, but I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to do this not only as a parent and preservice teacher, but for myself. Often, I feel like I get happily lost in the mix of parenting, care giving, and homemaking...these roles do play a large role in identifying who I am, but there is always more, and these things shouldn't be forgotten or pushed to the side. This week, I was able to rediscover myself as a singer (something I truly love), an actor, and someone who takes the time to...breathe.


  1. I'm just so happy that you had a good time and I can't wait to hear all about it. Besides... I've missed having you away!! <3

  2. oh, this truly sound lovely, my eyes are full of tears. i was supposed to go, but my baby is only 11 months and nurses all day. i am so glad that you got to live it and i am so happy that you will share with us. cant wait to hear more.

    many blessings

  3. Eeeek! I have been waiting for this post!!! It sounds all so dreamy and wonderful, Rebecca. And I am hoping W did well with the seperation??? I can't wait to hear more (as you are going down the path before me). <3

  4. I can't wait to hear more. I would love to go there but it is not possible at the moment. I'm glad I will get to hear some of what it was like through you.

  5. What an amazing experience for you! I'm so glad that you got so much out of it! Thank you for sharing your words and photos! I am curious about the keys, could you tell us more about them? I want to go back to Kindergarten and be in that classroom with the beautiful mural!
    ~ joey ~

  6. Thank you for sharing your amazing experience with all of us. I look forward to hearing more!

  7. Sounds like you had an amazing week. Just like everyone else, I can't wait to hear more about your time there.

  8. Rebecca, what a beautiful experience- and your words describe it so well for us. I always enjoy your beautiful, warm, serene photos here- which give me inspiration and ideas! Thank you for sharing your journey!
    <3 big hugs

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It brought tears to my eyes and a longing to my heart. :o)

  10. What a lovely week you had! Isn't it wonderful about the family letting you stay in their home...their still are giving people in the world:-) I 'oft have contemplated taking the course for handwork there as it is only about two hours away from me...maybe someday;-)

  11. It looks just wonderful! Thank you for sharing and for the inspiration. I really need to sort out my own aspirations and start doing something about them! I can't wait to see and hear more about your time there!

  12. Well done dear! You certainly have a special *spark* within you! I hope to hear more about your trip :)

  13. Sounds lovely! You are soooooo talented in so many ways! Caregiver, homemaker, needle worker, woodworker, singer, actor ....and..... photographer! I always look forward to your posts.

  14. What a joy to read the excitement and refreshment in your post! I'm so glad you've had such a wonderful time of discovery and REdiscovery. Wouldn't it be life-changing if we all had the opportunity to spend a day as kindergarteners, playing as if we were children, with all the time in the world? Waiting expectantly for more telling of your journey tales...

  15. It was a true joy to read this post...true inspiration actually. I have been at home since our son was born just over 4 years ago and you are giving me so many ideas to incorporate in our day! Our son will be starting half day kindergarten at our local Waldorf school this fall, but our daughter will still be at home...lots of opportunity to include what I have learned and continue to learn from your blog! I can't wait to hear more!

  16. Thank you for sharing your experience. I can't wait to read more!

  17. What a wonderful experience. I can't wait to hear more! I love Waldorf education and I would love to incorporate it into my homeschool routine. xo

  18. hi! i'm glad you had a great time. i want to ask you a question and i really want it to come from o place of learning, i'm not trying to say anything rude but sometimes emotion doesn't come thru typing... i don't understand the presence of the christ myth in waldorf education... my family is very spiritual, but we belive more along the goddess/earth mother lines. i love the idea of waldorf homeschool, but i am unsure on how to proceed with this idea of saints and christ... can you suggest any good books i can read? or maybe explain it a little for me...? thank you so much!! i love reading your blog- Kat

  19. Sounds like an amazing trip!! You have captured the college beautifully, what a gorgeous space in which to learn!

    Love the first picture of you with your two pig tails! :)


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