*under construction*

05 December 2008

A Light in the Darkness

Moving. It takes so long to really get settled in and have things back in your comfortable groove and your life moving along in harmony again. It's already been 2 1/2 months since we moved in, and I'm still in full White Rabbit mode - the whole I'm late, I'm late... thing - that is especially tough right now, because we're in full swing of my favorite season of the year. The Christmas Season... beginning with Advent!

When my Royal Sonshine was little - 4 or 5 - one of the festivals his school celebrated was the Advent Spiral, a kindergarten and lower grade festival. It was such a wonderful way to begin the Christmas season, and it is quite possibly one of the most touching events I've been blessed to witness.

For days, the entire school community brings in garland, moss, pine cones and tree trimmings. They spend hours creating a large and beautiful spiral path of enchanted greenery which circles around itself to a center where a single candle stands. At the base of the spiral are red apples, each holding a single, unlit white candle. After dark, families gather with their children in silent reverence. The center candle is lit. Each child chooses an apple and walks with their unlit candle, in the dark of night, through the spiral to its center where they then light their own candle from the central light and as they make their way back, they place their lit candle somewhere along the darkened spiral on their way out.

As more and more children walk the spiral, light fills the darkened night.

Enjoy Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas -- the time of quiet introspection and joyful anticipation. In other traditions as well, this season of shortening days and lengthening nights is a time for reflecting on and honoring the past, looking to the future, and searching for inner light in a period of outer darkness - something that so often gets lost in the commercialism that can cloud the significance of the season.


Naz said...

How lovely and so simple and calming. I'm so moved by this.

Carla said...

I love the festa di San Nicola. I have been to the Bari Festival in Italy many times and it is amazing. Carla