Inner Light and Outer Light
As we make our journey in life together as a family, throughout the seasons, we want to bring our children the wonders of earth in a celebratory way capturing the essence of who we are in relationship with the wakefulness and restfulness of earth. Making our way on the Waldorf-inspired path, we become more aware of how in sync our lives are falling into place with rhythm and routine in our lives revolving around the earth's seasons and our traditional festivals and holidays. Having children brings us back to a richer rhythmic life that is healthy and wonderful.
One night I awoke around 3 A.M. receiving this great vision of an annual circular calendar from my dreams. In my current mind the annual calendar that I knew were made of squares, ugly blocks, and they always ended, year after year. This new image of a calendar that came to me, it was a circle, never ending. I could clearly see a clock with numbers around it and they each represented each month. As I sketched it out, I began to see that going clockwise starting with 1-January, that is winter, continue going clockwise and look at 3- that is spring, then continue clockwise to 6 -summer, then 9 -autumn. How intriguing that it worked out that way.
Wow! Then I saw the equinox line, split across the middle going through the months September and March. A great visual in understanding the sunlight lines. AND, each solstice could be seen perpendicular 12 Dec, 6 June. What a beautiful, rounded, artistic and visual way to teach your child the calendar. No more ugly squares.
As I continued to look at the drawing, I saw that the top half was the MOON- the more darker days-INNER LIGHT; and the bottom half was the SUN the lighter days- OUTER LIGHT. So I took it to my water color pad and sketched it out and painted it.
I included a tree as my symbol, because the way a deciduous tree changes during the four seasons. In WINTER the leaves are bare, in SPRING there are flowers and a bird nest, in SUMMER there is a child's swing, and in AUTUMN there are blazing colors of yellows, oranges, and red leaves.
INNER LIGHT with autumn and winter months is a more peaceful and restful time. A time for prayer and meditation, more inside time that outside time to do handwork, story telling, reading, music, drawing, painting, molding, and inside play of great imagination. Recognizing the earth still as we take our daily walks that earth's light is becoming less and plants and animals begin their rest. OUTER LIGHT, a time to take action of all the inner thoughts and inspirations from the stories, paintings, songs, sculpting, and imagining. A time for outer play, experiencing the earth and it's many wonders. Recognizing the earth on our daily walks, as we enjoy the sun and all the aliveness and energy of all creatures.
Daily Colours, a mother in Holland, who loves colors, has a beautiful "Week Rhythm Colour Wheel" similar to this circular calendar, it is for the days of the week, never ending. You can begin designing your weekly rhythm with her free download.
Toadstool Forest uses a perpetual calendar and days of the week gnomes in the color of the day. Her family also uses daily rhythm gnomes to set out to show the major activity of the day, as well as a set of tiles that show her children the flow of the activities. She makes them by hand and sells them at her Etsy shop.
Jean, at Waldorf Inspired Learning, has a great planning post about 6 Steps to Planning an Awesome Waldorf Homeschooling Year. Baking day, painting day, playdate day, handwork day, music day, housekeeping day, are just some examples of what you could add to your weekly rhythm. She suggests adding time blocks like morning, midday, afternoon, and mealtimes. Then hang it on the wall for all to see, staying on track. She has a great resource that she has written called Planning for Waldorf-Inspired Learning.
With a new year, comes new planning and new goals. Start your music goals now and begin adding music to your school day with Living Music From the Heart.