Friday, October 28, 2011

Let the Light Shine

Here we are, Halloween weekend is upon us! To me, this is just the beginning of 'Lantern Season', my most favorite time of the year! I think of all of the images of light which we are just beginning to experience as the daylight dwindles...the Jack-o-lantern.... all different types of lanterns for Martinmas.... "Luminaria night" (Luminaria Night started in 1998 in Bethlehem, PA as a way to unite neighbors and help members of the community. Each year we light up more of the city and spread the love!)...the spiral of light for Advent....and finally, our Christmas Tree in all of its splendor!!

 Carving our pumpkins was a real sensory experience for all of us. The smell of the pumpkin, the cold, stringy insides, the slippery seeds...

Have you ever felt pumpkin seeds being rinsed in a colander? It is..amazing. One of my most favorite sensations! Every time I do this, I remember my most favorite movie, Amelie, and how she cultivates a taste for small pleasures... dipping her hand into sacks of grain… cracking créme brulée with a teaspoon....

still image from Amelie

....A playschool girl may share these sentiments, as she stood at the sink for 15 minutes running her hands through the seeds. I overheard, "I wish I could take a bath in all of these......"

I mentioned in a previous post that I'm not so inspired or excited by Halloween. I am searching for ways to make it more meaningful and...age appropriate. Watching the children prance down our street during trick-or-treat brings about a feeling of excitement, but at closer examination, I feel unsure. Every other girl is dressed as a princess. Teenagers sans costume look for handouts. Pre teen girls are nearly in their underwear. Almost every costume is inspired by one or another licensed character. Sometimes I wonder why Spiderman, Batman and the like are so popular with very young boys...they're characters from a PG-13 movie! (I'm sure that cross marketing has almost everything to do with this...)
With all this said, I was glad to come across this fantastic article (page 8) from 1978 via The Waldorf Library earlier this evening. It is deeply inspirational!

We did take W trick-or-treating around the block and he very much enjoyed taking candy from our neighbors. (although he didn't eat any, of course!) It was a mild night, but we're now bracing for our first snowstorm (???) of the year. 2-4 inches of snow after a nearly frost-free October?
...I'm excited to hunker down so soon!


  1. Love the photos of all the carving fun your children had :) We are going to carve ours on Sunday as we have a bear on our property right now and I don't want to feed them to him *grin*.

    I'm off to check out the link to the article you shared. I'm looking forward to Marinmas to :)

  2. oh that is my all time fav film too! Yes I also have difficulties with trick or treating. When I was wee in Scotland we always had to do a party piece, sing a song or tell a poem or do a trick, but here in Ireland it's just knocking and holding out your bag...seems more like begging to me! So the kids and I do go out, but only to the neighbours we know well and also we bring them a little something we have baked/. Seems better to me than just begging for sweeties! hugs Laura x

  3. Hello, Rebecca!
    When I was growing up we lived in the country so we didn't have a neighborhood to go trick or treating in, so my mother only took us to houses of people we knew. That way it was safe and it made Halloween more like other holidays by placing importance on visiting relatives and friends. I was always more excited about seeing our family and friends than getting candy (thankfully I've never had much of a sweet tooth!). I now do the same for my daughter, just a few places and her grandparents often have special, mother- approved "treats" waiting for her. We're a little spread out over the countryside, but it's a nice drive for taking in the beauty of the season and we don't run into many other trick or treaters.
    Thank you for sharing, you have such and inspiring blog! I'm so glad I've found it because it has introduced me to so much about the world of Waldorf!

    Sarah Jane

  4. I second the licenced character thing.. :/ and it's everywhere! I actually think once we start school it will be easier to enhance that filter, oddly enough. I try to steer the girls to story book characters from the grimm fairytales ~ a lot of the "knock off" costumes allow for more room there I think. It is definitely a challenge :/ It's my most stressful holiday! haha

  5. I just remembered a friend of mine and I would tell the kids that we were collecting candy for the fairies ( or whichever elemental you want to use) and we leave the candy for them and they would leave us a gift in return.. Like, a handmade little knitted animal or wooden toy...=) BC so many of our family partcipate and love to share in the dressing up etc. we wanted to be sensitive to their need for connection and sharing ~ it seemd to be a nice balance and everyone's needs were met ~ xo

  6. I'm with you, I don't care for Hallowe'en, the marketing companies have really gone too far with it! I hear it's almost as big as Christmas in the US?! We keep it simple and short! One night and then it's over!
    I'm excited to celebrate with more lanterns and light this year, could you do a post that explains the different traditions?
    ~ joey ~

  7. we too have spent the day carving pumpkins, making lanterns and going on a lantern walk!I am sat typing now with our lanterns lit on the fire place! lovely!

  8. Gorgeous pictures! Carving pumpkins is a great sensory experience. The smell, the feel, the end result with candles and darkness...thank you for sharing yours!

  9. Dear Rebecca,
    I have always struggled with Halloween as well- the scary aspect of it especially.
    We have found a balance, and like to celebrate "small" and "homegrown" with homemade treats and pumpkin carving, meeting with friends or family for lantern walks and dinner, a bonfire outside while we drink hot soup or eat maple popcorn. I guess more of a "Fall celebration" kind of thing.
    I have never felt Halloween was a small-child-friendly celebration. Trick or treating in the dark can be scary for small children, and older children are often dressed up in monster costumes and masks which can be terrifying. Gorging on unhealthy treats afterward. . .

    Sweet, beautiful boy of yours! <3

  10. Most years (without sudden drops of temp and snow!) I take the boys apple picking on Halloween. It is usually one of the last days for picking so we use it as a kind of good bye to the apples. Then we make our own apple based sweet treats. Loved this post on so many levels.....

  11. The kids do love halloween. I unfortunately allowed them to have the candy and paid for it dearly the next day with Noah guy. I was a.maz.ed at how crazy he was. So tonight, when asking for a piece of candy, I smiled and said we have yummy organic yogurt squeezers. They happily took it without a fuss, which was good because I felt like a party pooper of a mama!


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