May Day 2019

We really enjoy our school-wide festivals as an opportunity to gather together for seasonal fun. May Day is particularly beloved as a celebration of spring and the re-awakening of the natural world around us. It is particularly photogenic too, with flowers and brightly colored ribbons. Our school traditions include making flower crowns, a cake walk, bubbles, lemon peppermints (a peppermint “straw” inserted into a whole lemon), a community picnic and dancing around a maypole.

A Note from Missi About Spiral of Light

Dear families and friends,

We are truly into the darkest days of winter with solstice just ten days away.  Amazingly, it will be lighter when we return from break in January than it is now!  While I find myself longing for the light to return, I am also grateful for the opportunities of reflection that this season offers.  

For me the season really kicks off with the Spiral of Light festival that we celebrated this past Sunday.  For those who haven't had the chance to come yet, imagine a room all in darkness.  In the center of a spiral of evergreen boughs laid on the floor, a candle is lit.  Solitary and dim, it barely begins to light the room.  Everyone sitting around the edges is swathed in darkness.  Our sweet-voiced teachers are singing an array of seasonal songs from both Christian and Jewish traditions: they sing in delicious harmonies in English, German, and French.  Through the singing, family after family walks the spiral to light a candle and set it down on golden paper stars sprinkled among the boughs.  Bit by bit the room becomes filled with a golden glow.  Suddenly, I realize that I can make out the faces of the people sitting across the room from me.  Friends old and new, grown-ups and children.  I am struck by the lovely metaphor that I have just witnessed, articulated in the words of one of the carols being sung: "Each little child shall shed her light, till all the world is warm and bright."

In this season of veritable darkness, I appreciate the unique light that each child and each parent shines into the world.  Thank you for sharing yourselves with this precious school community.

Reflectively yours,

— From our newsletter, December 11, 2018

Michaelmas Festival 2018

Each September we gather to celebrate Michaelmas, our first seasonal festival of the school year. Our festivals connect us to the natural world and renew our connections between classes, and among parents and friends. Michaelmas is a celebration of courage and harvest. This time of year we observe the seasonal changes in the natural world as plant life bears fruit and then begins to die back, leaves turn and animals prepare for the coming winter. Personally we find ourselves of two minds — trepidation for the shorter, darker, cold, wet days ahead, even as we feel a surge of energy and a counter force to the slowing in nature around us. The story of St. George fighting a dragon with the angel Michael’s help embodies this time of year, a call to gather courage and engage the dragons we need to battle and transform.

As the pictures below reflect, our festival includes challenges for all ages, a baked potato feast utilizing the bounty of our school garden, and a pageant of grade school students to both sing and tell the story of St. George taming the dragon.

Thank you so much to parent Julie Rings for sharing her beautiful photography of the festival with all of us. We are grateful!

May Day at Madrona School

Spring is upon us and at Madrona School, like many other Waldorf schools in the northern hemisphere, we celebrate with a May Day festival. Our traditions include making flower crowns, an all-too popular cake walk, lemon peppermints, maypole dancing, community picnicking and May cake and wine. It is a festive, beautiful day at school for all ages, especially joyful when the sun shines! We treasure the couple of times each year when we gather as a whole school community.

Here are some images from our most recent festival, taken by a few of our photographer parents, as well as the office -- thank you to all who shared their pictures!