The Elements of Support

Autumn forces enter as color, wind, and falling leaves the sound of whirl. Some seen some silent swirl. While all around remains silent support.

valley-green-leaves

Seeds planted by thought and hand now become fruit for the harvest. As we say in Waldorf education, Michael arrives with loving action to conquer dragons that linger and languor and act to lay waste to our deepest desires and creations.

As such, we clip away what has sustained the fruits of the harvest, which now sustain us and make way for the winter garden of life, here on the east coast.

Even in loss, there is support in places we might not know. The sculptor works in loss, taking away material to reveal it’s greatest strength. A solid work.

The night sky here in the Northern Hemisphere is a prime example of silent support. “Fomalhaut – the Autumn Star – is making its way across the heavens each night. It appears in a part of the sky that is largely empty of bright stars. For this reason, in skylore, Fomalhaut is also often referred to as the Lonely One or Solitary One or the Loneliest Star.

White Fomalhaut is more or less opposite the sun in early September, and so it shines in the sky all night long during the autumn months.”

All night long.

If you are curious you can find the Autumn star, just look up.

“Just face south on an autumn evening and look. Fomalhaut is the brightest star in front of us on autumn evenings, as we face south.

"Water from the Water Jar of Aquarius going into the Mouth of the Fish. In the real sky, you can see a zig-zag line of stars representing this flow of water."
“Water from the Water Jar of Aquarius going into the Mouth of the Fish. In the real sky, you can see a zig-zag line of stars representing this flow of water.”     –

 

According to Richard Hinckley Allen, Fomalhaut was one of the four guardians of the heavens to the ancient Persians, and given the name of Hastorang. (The other guardians were Aldebaran in Taurus, Antares in Scorpius, and Regulus in Leo.) Allen also says that Fomalhaut was a source of worship at the temple of Demeter at Eleusis in ancient Greece. In about 2500 BC, Fomalhaut helped mark the location of the winter solstice, meaning that it helped to define the location in the sky where the sun crossed the meridian at noon on the first day of winter.”

I give thanks to silent support.

I give thanks to each and every individual and school I have had the pleasure to consult with and learn from.

This is my harvest and it is bountiful.

Thank you to all of you who have such great giving power. I am deeply grateful for all of you.

Silence is a bright and giving teacher.  Maria Shriver calls it “the pause”.

The wind carries silent seeds.

May your year be bountiful!

Blessings,

Ava

 

In addition, to all who are interested in my work, please know that I strive to adhere to the Charter set in 2016 by the Curative Education and Social Therapy Council of the Anthroposophical Society – which sets a paradigm for initiatives in the field of special education in Waldorf environments.

 

charter-on-prof-ed

Photo and Support Credit to Larry Sessions and Deborah Byrd from earthsky.org

 

Fostering Free Movement in the Waldorf School

How free movement encourages the language development...and much more
How free movement fosters the development of language…and much more

 

     I love this work by artist Katherine Worel. It conveys so much. In fact, the artist has left it “untitled”. I find myself captivated by the lightness of being, the open gesture of the arms, and the almost “teetering” quality that the child presents. Teetering on uprightness and becoming the “I” in “I am” is a concept we work with in the Waldorf school. The open gesture of the arms is a reflection of the gestures in Eurythmy, a movement art we offer. It expresses, to me, how the young child remains somewhat above this world and ponders on touching down to earth; to learning and being self sufficient in the way that they must for their own individual growth and happiness.

 

The "I" gesture
The “I” gesture from Into the Henhouse

     The Gesture for “I”, or the sound “ee” is a long straight stretch, from the tips of one hand to the other. It’s the feeling of being drawn into polarities and awakening to oneself holding the balance between them. Individuality.

The "I" gesture
The “I” gesture from The Whole Child Education Centre

An introduction to Eurythmy:

In our speech Eurythmy, we can express the letter ‘A’ through an opening gesture or an ‘I’ through stretching.
 ‘B’ has an embracing character. There are, for each sound, specific movement gestures which express the quality of the sound. Imagine what you would see in the air if somebody is speaking a sound. Some people experimented with smoke – we can create a picture in the air if we are speaking a certain sound. For example, the ‘O’ was round and the ‘S’ sharp like a knife.

With Eurythmy gestures we create the same picture through our movement.

We make the spoken word visible.
That offers us the possibility to express the character of a poem or a story, as a living art piece.
Added to this, each sound has its healing potential. There are different sound sequences which calm us down or enliven us. For example, an ‘R’ sound gives us energy, 
a ‘D’ sound helps us to connect with the ground, an ‘L’ sound harmonizes and so on. 

Eurythmy always offers ways to balance and harmonize.”  

– from The Whole Child Education Centre, Manitoba

Copper eurythmy ball

     One way movement can support the healthy development of a child with visual impairments is through Eurythmy. Here is a wonderful video that expresses how we practice this in the Waldorf school throughout the grades, and how it reaches the child at each stage of growth. Enjoy!

    This is the first in a series of posts on movement. In my next installment, I will address movement related to Orientation & Mobility as well as the connection to language development. I wish you all a happy, healthy, joyful, and incredibly fruitful school year,

                                                                                                                              Ava