Since taking part in Heather’s beautiful vintage swap and Kyrie’s Seasons Round Exchange, I have “met” so many interesting and lovely women. Exquisite photography, whimsical crafts, wonderful interpretations of life … and a whole lot of Waldorf.
Here in Australia we certainly have schools following Rudolph Steiner’s philosophies on education – we call them Steiner schools – but it is not an area I know a lot about or have had any real experience with. There is a beautiful Steiner shop in Melbourne – Abby and I used to visit it lots when she was a wee toddler. We’ve bought many Advent Calendars from there – no one does Advent Calendars like those following the Steiner traditions – wax, wool and books. One book we really loved was “Seven Times the Sun” and we incorporated many of the ideas from this book in our daily routine.
However, once we moved back to Brisbane when Abby was 4, our little, informal sojourn into creating a thoughtful, rhythmical life in this tradition, petered out. Which is why, now, despite Abby being the grand age of 12, I am so delighted to have found a community of families who are practising these beautiful rituals and instilling in their children a sense of continuity and season. I do believe, so much of these teachings already meld gently with our lives and particularly our love of handmade and home focused.
Perhaps too, it is our impending move south that is drawing me to learn more about the Waldorf principles and practices, and create – with Julian and Abby – more structure and rhythm to our home and life. Zach Aboard, Exhale. Return to Centre, Shivaya Naturals, A Handmade Childhood, The Parenting Passageway, Lady I Swear by all Flowers … are all inspiring me to share more meaningful, age-old traditions with my family. And of course, this is the perfect time of year for this – despite the fact that a lot of the celebrations are a bit skew-iff for us in the southern hemisphere. Perhaps we can enjoy them now and again in our winter :-)
So – Saint Lucia. It is her feast day on Sunday and Abby and I have been reading up on her – attending a Catholic school, Abby feels very familiar with the virgin saints! (as do I – I don’t think I will EVER forget the story of Maria Goretti – goodness, the things we were taught as wee children! I’ve had a mortal fear of pitchforks ever since). And the celebration of Saint Lucia as a bearer of light is so very beautiful.
I told Abby this morning, she would have to rise at dawn on Sunday, bake some lussekat and serve them to us for breakfast. She wasn’t very sure :-) I have to confess, I wasn’t either. All of our baking equipment and goodies are in Melbourne so I wasn’t confident we could produce something lovely enough. Then, there we were at Ikea today (another HUGE shopping trip for Mum’s school) and what were they serving in the cafe – lussekat. Ha! We were able to share with the lovely lady at the register, the story of Saint Lucia and the lussekat and now have three pretty yellow buns – in s shapes no less – in our freezer, waiting to be heated and enjoyed on Sunday.
Oh – and we created our own picture of Saint Lucia to hang in a special place for Advent. She started looking so pure this morning – very simple and saintly. Now, as the evening draws to a close, she is looking much richer and more worldly. I do truly love her wreath – it is so very textured. Stitching her reminded me too, of how much I love sitting quietly in the living room, a lamp beside me, my dear girl across from me, steadily working with felt and thread to create pictures. Utter delight. I think a quiet corner of our home and a few candles will provide the perfect setting for our Lucia.
And next winter, as we are snuggled in our new home, relishing the cold Melbourne winter and approaching our southern winter solstice, I am sure Saint Lucia will pay us a mid year visit so that we may truly appreciate her lighting our way.
thank you new friends.