Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Winter Festival

Wattle tree, Wattle tree, will you lend me, pray,
a little glowing lantern to light me on my way?
My Summer friends have vanished from the paddocks and the lane
and I would fain go seeking till I find them once again.
Oh, lend me now a lantern that I may bear a light
to find the hidden pathway in the darkness of the night.

Last night we spent a magical night at Jacob's kinder celebrating the Winter Festival. We arrived at the kinder and were greeted by lanterns lighting up the entrance and the room. In the centre of the room was a spiral of vegetation with a candle burning in the middle. The children took turns walking into the centre of the spiral with a parent and lighting a special lantern that they had been making in kinder during the previous weeks while the rest of us sang or sat quietly. It was beautiful to see the kids smiling and their little faces lit by the glow of the candles only. The spiral of vegetation is to signify the shortening of the days in winter and then the lengthening as the season passes.

After all the kids had lit their lanterns we put on all our warm clothes and went for a walk with the lanterns to guide us. It really was beautiful, the path was marked by small jars with candles on either side to show us the way. After the walk, we returned to the kinder and shared a meal of pumpkin soup and bread together which the kids had helped to make earlier in the day.

For those that don't know about the Winter Festival, the Winter Festival is all about light. It's a sharing of the light and the lanterns are an outer manifestation of our inner warmth and light. This is what we need in winter; community warmth and a recognition of the light within us which warms us all.

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