This is one of my favorite days of the whole year: All Saints Sunday! I love celebrating this day, which this year was this past Thursday, the day after Halloween and I love attending church to deepen the meaning of this day, the beginning of a whole season of Light.
I have Roman Catholic friends who remember All Saints Day being a major festival in their year – they got off from school, first of all, LOL, but I do think it is an important day that is now being lost and dwarfed by Halloween. All Saints Day, to me, is a very special day to recognize the light that the Saints carried inside of them, that spark of God and the angels, and that we too, carry that light within us. We have within us the light, the spark of the Divine and when we act with love in full social community, we show not only our higher selves but the thinning of the material and spiritual worlds.
One way we share this light with others is through our warmth. Emotional warmth is so important. How do we relate to others? With judgment, with cynicism? Do we isolate ourselves instead of trying to be part of a community? Do we answer our children with love when they speak to us or do we yell at them? Are we so overwhelmed we find it difficult to share our light and warmth with anyone?
I urge you, today, to re-claim your light and your warmth for this season. This day, to me, marks a beautiful beginning to a whole seasonal celebration of light through this day, Martinmas, Advent and for me as a Christian, Christmas Day and The Twelve Holy Nights.
If you would like to celebrate this day, I made a few suggestions here: http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/11/01/all-saints-day-and-all-souls-day-in-the-waldorf-home/ Today is a wonderful day to look at the Saints throughout history. Perhaps there is a wonderful Saint whose stories you love. Some families also choose on this day, to bring the baptismal candles of their children to the dinner table and light them. I also love the hymns associated with All Saints Day and here is a book that captures one of those hymns for children: http://www.amazon.com/I-Sing-Song-Saints-God/dp/0819215619/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352055917&sr=8-1&keywords=I+sing+a+song+of+the+saints+of+god
The weather here in the Deep South dropped to cold overnight (and then it was warm again, and then cold). It is damp, and most of us are finding it hard to get warm. I have pulled out all of our woolens, although the baby has been wearing his night and day for a few weeks now. Warmth is so important that I write about it every year and have many back posts on it. I see other writers around the blogosphere are also writing about warmth – one of my favorites was this post from one of my readers: http://www.localgrain.org/fieldsandfire/2012/10/16/warmth/.
On a physical level, our children do not know when they are cold. Please do not give them choices about what to wear or how many layers to wear. You are the adult, and it is really okay for you to go though the closets and drawers and pack up the light clothes and sandals and put them away. It is okay to lay out clothes for your children and to take that burden of deciding what to wear away from them so they can focus on playing and creating and growing in a healthy way. Most sources say children need at least three layers on top and two layers on the bottom during cold weather, so adjust for your location in the world.
I typically get my woolens from Green Mountain Organics in Vermont – if you head there to buy some woolens, please tell Michelle that The Parenting Passageway sent you. She will take good care of you! http://www.greenmountainorganics.com/ Use the code wool10 to receive 10 percent off!
This week, in honor of the beginning of this season of Light with All Saints Day, and leading soon to Martinmas, I will be highlighting things to help you be a warm light for your own family and community. We will also finish up our very last chapter of our book study, and some further posts in the “Twenty Days Towards More Mindful Mothering Series”.
If there are any issues that you are struggling with right now, please feel free to leave a comment in the comment box and I would be happy to address that issue in an upcoming post.
Much love and many blessings,