November poem: “Go out, go out, when the wind’s about! Let it buffet you, buffet you inside out!”
November: a time for festivals and falling leaves
We’ve been enjoying wrapping up warm and taking exhilarating walks in the fields and woods. Everywhere there are the signs of nature going to sleep and busy squirrels gathering nuts for the long winter ahead. This November it is a time for festivals and falling leaves, as we meet the festival of Martinmas and then, at the end, Advent, the start of the journey to Christmas.
What is Martinmas?
The festival of Martinmas takes place on November 11th. The story goes that Martin was a centurion soldier and that one day, as he was passing the city gate on his horse, he saw a beggar who was barely clad and freezing. The legend goes that Martin took off his own cloak and, with his sword, cut it in two. Not in the imagined way but by separating the warm lining from the main piece of cloth. He gave the beggar half. This, to me, is so thought provoking. If he had cut the cloak in half widthways this would have meant that neither had an adequate wrap around. But by cutting it by separating the lining from the main cloth both had full sized cloaks with which they were able to be warmed.
In my mind, this has become a festival of balance. If you give everything away, you are no longer truly helpful. If you share rightly then you serve both other and self.
On this day, in Steiner Schools all over the world this festival will be celebrated by a re-enactment of the story as part of a lantern procession after dark. Each child will have made their own lantern in preparation for the walk, sometimes following St Martin on his horse. This beautiful lantern walk is accompanied by singing. Candles are often placed in decorated jars and lain along the path to be taken.
Celebrate Martinmas with our seasonal Autumn Wheel
How can I use a seasonal Autumn Wheel? Where do you keep it? As we transition between seasons, our Autumn Wheel is perfect to use as a nature table. Nature tables can be designed using the natural creations around us, keeping it simple or elaborate. The choice is yours. The important bit is that however you design your nature table, you family will feel a wonderful connection between the outside world bringing awareness to the changing seasons and festivities.
You can shop our Wilded Family Autumn Wheel here: https://waldorffamily.com/product/autumn-wheel-celebrate-the-fall-with-our-soulful-wooden-decoration/