height of autumn
November has arrived and we are cloaked and clothed in warmth and woolens. I always feel so myself at this time of the year; my time to shine as the days shorten and the festivals continue. We celebrated All Hallows' Eve with some very dear friends and family this year. I grapple with many of the holidays the further I study and learn on my path to Waldorf teacher. In the culture of today we tend towards big and flashy and in many cases I feel quite strongly that the flashier it gets the less we are in touch with ourselves, our earthly traditions, each other, and meaningful celebration. There is a movement to slow down the experience of childhood, and I am so supportive of this, but I can't help but myself that the true problem lies with us, the adults. We are hurried, we are rushed, we get caught up in the pace of today and we pass this anxious way of being onto our children. Children's lives often don't need slowing down- they are so very good at living in the moment- it is our lives that need the slowing, the pause for thought, the reverence for the experience of connection and time spent together and with our little ones. This reverence, of course, gets passed down to those we love.
Earlier this month, I had planned to take our Hallowe'en troupe to a lovely little neighbourhood that overlooks the sea in a nearby town. A short drive to a destination of sweet homes and cottages and surely some good fun. Still, as Hallowe'en approached I thought of bundling the children, the two cars, the 15 minute drive. I caught myself and was reminded...keep it simple. We decided to stay on our land to celebrate and, truly, we had the sweetest Hallowe'en ever. That afternoon, we carved pumpkins and decorated lanterns for our procession to the four other houses. Then we filled our bellies with a feast of salmon, traditional colcannon, and homemade baked black beans. We left as dusk became dark, and just as the rain stopped. To our delight we were greeted by much attention and decoration from our dear neighbours (we were the first trick or treaters to ever visit the land). From house to house and through the woods our lanterns lit the way, and we were, all 11 of us, quite a magical sight.
Our friends and family visited with us for a few days allowing plenty of time for riding bikes, skipping stones, building beach forts, celebrating around the table, crafting, pinterest, and sweet and special time spent together. As the season marches on, and in light of another big change headed our way next year, I'm determined to keep this the simpliest year yet.