Sunday, December 1, 2013
Advent Garden: Light of Hope and Stones
This is the first day of Advent. In Waldorf circles this week is the week to celebrate the light of stones. In the Christian advent this week's candle represents 'Hope'. This year our Advent garden will be a mishmash of the two. Since Panda is so young we are keeping things very simple. He is starting to show interest in the Advent garden (replacing our nature table for this month); so every day I try to set aside a time when he can touch everything on the table supervised and I chat at him about the different items. This week I pulled out various crystals, rocks, a salt lamp (for the candle), and our Hope ornament. Then we went for a drive around the lakes to see the sun sparkling off the ice and warming the rocks along the shore. It seemed an age appropriate way to introduce minerals to a 7 month old.
Panda's first Advent was also his first time in a church. I have been searching for a new church for quite some time.. This being the week of Hope is not a time to look back on what I left, but forward to this wonderful church which we found. Everyone is truly welcome and children were met with smiles and laughter everywhere I turned. Two children lit the Advent Wreath and every week the pastor calls the children forward for a special "Children's Time" before the sermon. Children were welcome anywhere in the church and not once did I see a disapproving ' control your child" look on any one's face. Panda became fussy and so we left the sanctuary. Three people came to find me at separate intervals (one of those people being the Pastor's wife) to tell me that they did not mind fussy children and that we were welcome to bring him back in... Wow! Just Wow. How very different than what I grew up with. We may have found a new place to fit in. A place where Panda can continue to be raised in a community of love, warmth, and light. So it is with Hope for a great many things that we start this season of love. Be well.