Monday, September 24, 2012
When I became interested in learning about different homeschooling approaches and pedagogical philosophies, one of the elements of Waldorf early education that most resonated with me is its focus on seasonal celebrations. I had never paid much attention to changing seasons, no matter how dramatic they are here in New England, or the historical, agricultural, and social contexts in which they occur. Now I do and it makes welcoming each new season an opportunity for celebration and reflection in our family.
We began this autumnal equinox weekend with a trip to the farmers' market on Saturday to collect our weekly CSA foods, and used this week's veggies and meats to make a hearty harvest stew for our family dinner, and "equinox corn muffins" for dessert--a recipe we enjoy from one of our favorite autumn children's books: We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season, by Wendy Pfeffer.
One of the fun things I've learned to appreciate as we've focused more on seasonal shifts is recognizing the harvests that are tied to each new season: harvesting Christmas trees and holly near the winter solstice, tapping maple syrup around the spring equinox, picking strawberries at the summer solstice, and apple-picking for the fall equinox. On Sunday, we enjoyed a trip out of the city to the apple orchard, and the subsequent scents of simmering apple sauce, baking apples, and apple pie from our fall kitchen.
The equinox weekend ended with our city's annual Revels RiverSing concert, a concert dedicated to celebrating the start of autumn with art, poetry, and a singing crowd of revelers on the banks of the Charles River.
How did you celebrate the autumnal equinox weekend with your family?