Look To This DayLook to this day for it is life
- Kalidasa, 5th Century Sanskrit poet and dramatist The very life of life In its brief course lie all the realities and truths of existence. The joy of growth The splendor of action The glory of power For yesterday is but a memory And tomorrow is only a vision But today, well-lived, makes every yesterday a memory of happiness And every tomorrow a vision of hope Look well, therefore, to this day.
We see the joy of growth and splendor of action all around us these days: the piles of snow are finally gone; on Tuesday, we cheered the cows as they danced to pasture for their first taste of sweet spring grasses; after a long winter filled with cold days, crisp grey skies and hoary frost, May is here! The trees are budding, green grass beckons, and the first flowers open themselves to greet the sun. This Saturday, May 6th, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School will have our traditional May Day Celebration and Spring Fair. If you chanced to wander onto our campus lately, you would have spotted a rough-hewn pole bedecked by silky rainbow-colored ribbons wound and tucked away to protect them from a wayward breeze or the fingers of a curious child. If you were lucky, you might have spied a circle of children each clutching a ribbon moving together towards the center and periphery circling each other and the pole to the energetic strains of accordion music. Or you might have seen our middle grades hopping, stomping, skipping, and clashing sticks—learning dances that quite literally intend to wake the earth up after its long slumber and prepare it to accept the springtime seeds. The time has come to dance and sing! While the May Pole hearkens back to medieval European celebrations, it is but one manifestation of the human impulse to created connection to the change of seasons. In the modern age with our climate-controlled buildings, convenient electrical lights and complex plumbing, it has grown easier for us to sleepwalk through our days and months barely noticing the change in our experience of light and mood. In contrast to this, by celebrating the yearly movement of mother earth around the sun, by actively noting our longer days and the arrival of flora and fauna, and marking how this affects our mood, we engage more fully in our humanity. May Poles, like all towers, spires, or minarets call attention to the vertical plane and pull our attention upwards. They help to bridge that distance between heaven and earth, pulling us up toward the skies, and effecting a reverent mood. They also mark a point in space and in time, a place to focus our attention and our gaze. On the horizontal plane, a May pole provides the context for human interaction, the setting for a dance that moves from the periphery to the center and back. A ribbon dance quite literally weaves the community together allowing for each strand to be both distinct and part of an interwoven masterpiece. The rainbow colors of the ribbons and the blooming flowers and greenery which entwine both May poles and the May crowns decorating each human head harken us to the world of life. The drab days of winter are behind us. Throughout the year, Hawthorne Valley Waldorf School creates festivals
so that our students might become encouraged to wake up, to join together, and to celebrate our shared journey through the school year. We hope you all are able to take a moment in the coming days and month to breathe in the spring. Gather those abundant blooms! Dance with each other and celebrate! By strengthening our relationship with the Earth we will better find each other.Written by Karin Almquist, School Director