This weekend marked the beginning of Advent season. This is a winter festival of light celebrated at our Waldorf school, and the Advent wreath in the center of our table honoring the light found in stones, plants, animals and humankind is a tradition we began last year to brighten up our very dark, rainy Oregon winters. We go out in the woods and fashion a little wreath from spruce, Douglas-fir, and cedar boughs. In the center stand four beeswax candles held by apples as candle-holders. Each week, we honor one of the four kingdoms by lighting a candle and saying a little verse before dinner. This week we honored the stones by decorating the wreath with crystals, seashells, and little bones we found on walks in the woods. Next week we will honor the plants by placing little dried flowers, seeds and pine cones around the wreath. The following week we will honor the animals by adding little beeswax creatures the kids made. The week after we will honor humankind by adding a little felted wool child with sun beams radiating around their face. These little evening Advent ceremonies create a very contemplative, magical mood each of the four nights we light the candles, and carries a little brightness into the coming week.
Weaving starlight clear and bright
Into colors pure and light.
Fragrant flowers come to birth