Cold fingers Cold toes Pink sky, Pink nose, Hard ground, Bare trees, Branches crack, Puddles freeze, Frost white, Sun red, Warm room, Warm bed.– Shirley Hughes
February has arrived and already we can feel ourselves being called towards the start of spring. Such a rich time for awe, wonder, creativity, and interest in the world.
“When Candlemas day is bright with sun.
Then the winters but half begun
But when Candlemas day is dark with rain
Then winter’s power is on the wane.”
Almost immediately we have Candlemas Day, the first of our February festivals for celebration. Candlemas was originally a Celtic festival marking the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, a celebration later adopted by the church as a time to renew and bless all the candles needed for the coming year.
Candlemas, Imbolg, or Brigid’s Day, depending on your beliefs, is a time to recognize that winter is coming to an end and spring is just around the corner. It’s a time for celebratory ritual centred around hearth and home.
This first of the February festivals offer us a chance to come together as a family to light up candles, to welcome back the light of the sun after the longer darker days of winter. The making and lighting of beeswax candles are one traditional way of celebrating Candlemas. Even the littlest of hands can enjoy crafting a beeswax candle. Next comes a festival we all love to celebrate in one way or the other, and that is Valentine’s Day, a special day celebrated all around the world as a day of love. An opportunity to show appreciation to those they love, children can love it as much as adults.
If you’re looking for a beautiful story to share with your child, then look no further than ‘Somebody Loves You, Mr, Hatch’ by Eileen Spinelli and illustrated by Paul Yalowitz. One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch.
“Somebody loves you,” the note says.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room.
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town.
“But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?”
After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!
You may imagine that in cold winter our Waldorf classrooms are focusing on the cosy and staying indoors but no! Children are still enjoying dressing up warm and going for walks in the forest or taking their science lesson outside. They know that being out in nature just cannot be replaced. Weather can be so different throughout the four seasons and one weather type is not better or worse than another. Waldorf school’s take as they premise that we are all part of this earth, and that being connected to nature goes so much further than just learning about it through a story or by watching a video. Getting outside, no matter what the weather, is an important part of the whole philosophy of the Steiner Waldorf School principles. A major focus is made of helping each child develop a personal connection to the world, to their community, to nature and themselves.
Why not reflect on the past month, by listening to Wilded Family’s – February’s affirmations for the soul. Use this song to meditate, reflect or in circle time to bring the feeling of the season home.
All our love, Helen.