Friday, September 29, 2017

Today is Michaelmas

Do you know what Michaelmas is?  If you are not familiar with Waldorf Education, this mysterious Fall Festival may not be something you are familiar with.  

From the Little Acorn Learning
Autumn Equinox and Michaelmas Festival E-Book:

"The significance of the Michaelmas festival in Waldorf schools is seen in the story of a simple boy, who acts out of bravery and righteousness on behalf of others, can overcome fear and darkness. Light must be honored and respected, and can be the greatest weapon we possess in the face of frightening challenges. The older children are taught that we all have within us a dark side, and that we must acknowledge it, learn to control it, and not act out of our destructive emotions. Our dark sides can be a source of strength, inspiration, power, creativity, and mystery—but they must be balanced and harnessed by the light for us to live healthy, happy lives and do good in the world."

"During this time of year when the world is growing dark and we travel inward to find our own inner light to offer to the world around us... (we are much like Michael)..This is the time when we gather up our strength and wield our swords of courage and upright living to slay our inner dragons of depression, egoism, untruth that try to arise. " ~ written by my dear friend, mentor Marianne Frost 

We obviously do not bring these heavy concepts to the little people in our lives. For them, the idea of bravery and truth need not be communicated, it should be emulated naturally. Simple celebrations of the season are appropriate instead and do not have to be done just today – bring them through the next month or two to enjoy each day of through autumn.
  • -        Go Apple Picking
  • -        Make an Autumn Nature Table
  • -        Read Fall Books
  • -        Make Homemade Applesauce
  • -        Bake Dragon Bread
  • -        Hold a Family Autumn Feast
  • -        Go for an Autumn Nature Walk
  • -        Share Songs and Fingerplays of the Season
  • -        Weave Yarn around a Pinecone
Michaelmas Fingerplay
*repeat verse for each finger
(taken from our September Afterschooling Guide)

Five brave knights
With swords held high,
Rode their white stallions
Across the sky.

The dragon roared fire
From the mountain top
One horse ran away
But four did not stop!

Four brave knights... (continue verse as above)
Three brave knights...
Two brave knights...
One brave knight

With sword held high
Rode his white stallion
Across the sky.

The dragon roared fire
From the mountain top
The knight looked back
But would not stop!

The swords raised high
The stallions full speed
Five brave nights
One good deed.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

On Starting Over

It's been a long time since I've written in this space. My little acorn world has gone through many changes and my children and I have had to start over and try to create a new normal after divorce. These last few years, and especially this past year, have truly been the most heart-wrenching and difficult of my life. Seasons change and I find myself at the beginning of a brand new one.

Even when the slate needs to be wiped clean for a fresh start, it is so difficult to move forward. There is a stagnation and a true grieving following any loss or major life change. It has been a slow healing for me, and I still struggle to understand those who do not allow time to heal and grieve before moving on. I am surprised at the waves of sadness or loss that come after I had just felt free and on top of the world the week before. As it has been close to a year now, these waves are fewer and farther apart and for that I'm grateful. Finally the fog is lifting and I see the sun in the horizon and it does look beautiful.

Ever since I was a little girl, all I ever wanted was to be a mother - a really good one. I had many other dreams and aspirations for myself but this, above all else, was my truest dream and heart's desire. I was lucky enough to have four beautiful daughters and I delved my entire self into mothering. I made a career out of it, quite literally. I raised my daughters with intent, wrote parenting guides, ran a preschool, held after school programs, became a girl scout leader and served on local community education boards, taught in a Waldorf Kindergarten, held ecourses and read every piece of literature and took every course you could imagine to be the best mother, educator and writer I could be. It is my passion, this mothering thing, and I love being able to bring my talents to something so meaningful that may help others who are caring for children.

As you can imagine, my desire to protect my children is fierce. As a result, I cannot begin to describe to you the pain I feel knowing that any choice in my life will hurt them. That alone kept me clinging to untruths, for years. I love them wildly, with an intensity and beauty that I know many of you have felt and do feel for your children.

I didn't want divorce for my family and it was the last thing I had wanted for myself. As any parent, I would have done anything in the world to spare them one ounce of heartache. But, there comes a time, when we realize that the only way we can be our best as caregivers is to reach deep inside ourselves and be true to ourselves. No matter how hard we grasp or try, love can never be sustained without honesty, faithfulness, kindness, the keeping of promises and a genuine desire to grow and change together when necessary. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

I have slowly come to understand that all the love in this world cannot protect my girls from the world itself. And it is not a gift to my children to not live an authentic life and to not love myself enough to live my truth. They must become resilient enough to ride the waves, like I have and like you have, and find the beauty that is always present, even when it is sometimes hard to see.

A blog is only a glimpse into someone's real life and  I hope I have always kept it real while still creating a space for you of beauty and inspiration. I continue to try to surround my children and myself with beautiful and true things as we heal together.

Divorce is like a tornado that rips through your home and when it has passed, you are left on the floor in an *almost* empty space naked and clinging onto the threads of the truths that are left revealed. My truths have been my children, my family and a handful of soulmate friends who have gathered around me as I got back onto my feet again.

My truth is my desire to do good in this world and give back something to make it a better place. My truth is my love for words, marketing, art, creativity and nature. Everything else that was swept away, was not meant to remain.  And, I will no longer fight trying to bolt these things to my floors. My new home will be a place of freedom and truth. It will be safe and it will sustain.

So I am here now, a mother of four beautiful girls, standing looking at this clean slate and trying to make a new life for us. I have battle-fatigue and giving up time with my children feels worse than a painful death would feel each time they must go.. but I am here in my tattered home still standing, bare and brave before you.

There are many wonderful people to meet and I am open to meeting someone special if it comes but up until recently I just couldn't. I wasn't ready. I've started dating some but I am not the same person I was. This person knows what she needs and wants and will accept no less - because I am quite enough with or without a partner. And maybe, in the end, that was what needed to be revealed to me.

I hope my daughters will become women who also feel like they are enough, no matter what they have to go through to get there. It took me a lot.

If you have followed my journey over the last 12+ years, I hope you will continue to follow me into this new chapter of mine. I hope you will support my work and my business as I struggle to raise these girls as a single mom.  But, most of all, I hope what I put into this world will somehow help you as a striving human to know your worth and to remember that we all struggle... we are all flawed...but we can get through the storms and begin again.

Be brave.