The ritual elements that pervade my son’s school are delightful. To some cantankerous Waldorf haters, they are cause for great concern or scorn, or even lawsuits, but I love them. The children regularly invoke the spirits and the elements; pledge within sacred space to do their best work, to be their very best selves; cast circles in which to work and risk themselves for the sake of learning. They thank the sun, earth, air, fire, and water—and even god—for the lessons they learn both formally and informally all day.

At this time of year, closing is in order. Thank yous are being said and gifts are being given. It is also the time of year for congratulations and marking passages. Today, all the children in the school, first through eighth grade, moved boxes and belongings to their next classroom. Lucas and his classmates hefted their stuff and moved into the second-grade classroom next door. Each grade moved in this way. The eighth graders moved back to their beginning; they will spend the final day of the school year in the first-grade classroom. There is a Saturnalian, topsy-turvy element here that is not lost on Lucas and his friends. He laughed as he explained that one of his classmates is now "older" than her graduating big brother.

Something about this great moving circle, this procession, pleases me immeasurably. I love the physicality of it. The symbolism cannot be missed because the body, mind, and spirit all experience the passage through space as well as time. I am continually awed by how much these people GET IT. All of my ritual experience and training answers yes in moments like these, and frankly, they happen all the time.

2 Responses to “Procession”

  • tara_bella
    June 4, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    The move is one of my favorite things, as well. And the kids were so proud when they came home today. Which means that you can ask more of them over the summer, because now they are in the next grade and must behave accordingly, and they won’t argue about it, because they FELT the change occur. It’s lovely.


  • misterjustin
    June 4, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Lawsuits? Really? That seems crazy to me. I’m one of those who wouldn’t be terribly keen on the ritualism but I understand that if I send my kid to a private school…

    Hell, the courts have upheld the right of a private Christian school to kick the kid out because mom signed a “morality contract” and turned out to be a stripper. What basis could anyone have for suing Waldorf because of the ritualism?!!?


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