It is the time of year where we feel that our days growing shorter and the darkness of night coming more into our waking hours. As we move closer to the Winter solstice and the Christmas season, we must remember that the light shines in us always.

In Waldorf schools across the world, Advent Gardens are created by the teachers and communities for the children. Each garden is unique as is each community, but common threads run through them all. A sacred space is created by forming a large spiral of evergreen bows which frame a path into the center where one bright candle light stands alone. Children, one by one, walk the path with an unlit candle until they come to the center where they light their own candle from the glowing flame in the darkness. As they move back out of the spiral path they find a place for their own light to shine and leave it there to add to the light of the world. When all the children have placed their candles along the spiral path they stand together and marvel at the beauty and brightness of many small lights united together.

At our school we are blessed with a glorious abundance of nature forces surrounding us. For the Early Childhood families, we create our spiral pathway outside to experience both the darkness and light.*  As children in the early years experience themselves as part of whole world around them and as part of the family who loves them dearly, we let each child take their own special light to lead their family through the dark path. With joy the child receives the passing of the flame in the center of the spiral. Then the child looks for a special place, all of his or her own, to place their little light into the garden. With reverence each person watches as the Advent Garden becomes brighter and brighter until the whole spiral is glowing with warmth and light.

In our busy world it is not often that any of us can experience true peace, reverent quiet and inner joy. The Advent Garden celebration is an outward expression of our individual selves gifting and sharing a small part of us to make the world brighter.  All early childhood families are invited to join us for this magical celebration of light.
 
~Submitted by Beth Krause, Thimbleberry Teacher

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