As the days began to grow shorter the Rose Garden families gathered in the magical forest around Sharifa and Eric’s home. We each brought a dish to share for dinner. We feasted on the bounty of summer’s harvest as the gardens were winding down.
Just as the sun began to set behind the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains the children patiently waited for their teachers to kindle the little lights that we would all carry out into the darkness.
With joyful reverence each child carried a lantern with a burning candle over sticks, stumps and fallen leaves out into the forest.
We quietly sang our lantern songs as the moon rose over the tree tops, circling the field before winding our way through the forest and back to our picnic blanket.
When every friend had made their way back to our circle the children joined me in telling the families the story of Huggin and his turnip lantern. We ended by singing our “farewell” song that ends our storytime each day at school.
As I clean up my home from my own family’s festival of Thanksgiving I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to create community with the wonderful families of the Rose Garden School. I hope that the images from our lantern walk back in October help to kindle an inner warmth during the coming cold and dark days of winter.