Last week, under the light of a full moon, our Early Childhood classes and 1st and 2nd Grades celebrated the end of the autumn harvest season and the approach of the winter season’s colder air and longer nights with our school’s beloved Lantern Walk festival.
In their classrooms over the past weeks the students created beautiful lanterns, which lit the way as children and families traversed the campus trails at dusk. In addition to singing some traditional lantern and autumn songs in a large group before the lantern walk, our families were also treated to groups of upper grades singers (and a few alums who joined in!) filling the quiet, candle-lit paths with seasonal tunes that added to the reverent atmosphere.
Seasonal festivals like Lantern Walk highlight the culture of gratitude and reverence that our teachers bring to our youngest students. Whether it is taking a moment for a simple blessing and thanking the Earth for the food at snack time or tending a small candle in the lantern on a dark and cold evening, our students participate in activities and experiences that cultivate gratitude, care, and respect.
Our Sunflower Kindergarten Class teacher, Lindsay Whited, shares, “Reverence is connected to compassion, to truly see the other in myself, which is paramount in my work as a Waldorf Early Childhood teacher. Reverence is an endangered capacity and one that is so deeply valued in Waldorf education, which I am so thankful for.”
In that mood of reverence, as rows of little lights made their way through the quiet darkness, all were reminded of how we work to carry our own lights and, in doing so, help to light the way for those around us.