“The Sun, with loving light makes bright for me each day.”
I love these words from a poem by Rudolf Steiner, the founder and creator of Waldorf Education. Every child in a Waldorf School recites an age appropriate poem about reverence, grace and an appreciation of learning each morning at at the end of every day. Children are taught very early at a Waldorf School to love themselves, others, the earth and learning. In its essence Waldorf Education is curative. It is healing, and brings a wholeness to others.
One of my children’s Waldorf teachers told me she always looked at who the children were becoming and would hold that image of them in her awareness. Waldorf teachers are taught to hold the light of the children in their consciousness at night before they go to sleep and allow that insight to guide their work with the children during the day. Through that practice they are able to see the behavior of the children as merely behavior, not their essence. They see and feel the light in the children emerging and their behaviors as opportunities to experience more light.
Loving light is key. Gently exploring all parts of our selves and our humanness, bringing what is hidden into a radiant loving light enables us to heal. When we shed light on what we don’t want to see or know about ourselves we begin to regain a sense of wholeness. We begin to be who we truly are and develop empathy for our selves and others. Our human imperfections are actually gifts waiting to be unwrapped and brought to light. By shedding loving light on our selves we find a new appreciation and reverence. We look at ourselves and others with more humanity, grace and compassion.
I had a sister who had Down Syndrome. Her name was Cindy and she passed away four years ago. If you have never met anyone with Down Syndrome you are missing some of God’s most light-filled beings. They are pure light, pure love and they give of themselves with complete and total love.
Cindy knew what light was. She never got bogged down in ego or behavioral manifestations. She was and lived her essential self, which is why I believe people with Down Syndrome are here in this world. They help us see the difference in the starkest and most illuminating way. Their presence is curative. When I was with Cindy and troubled she was gentle and soft and showed me, in her uniquely simple way how to let those feelings melt and dissolve into love. She shed loving light on my darkness and out of that I softened and yielded into peace.
This world is full of illuminating processes and ways to move into more wholeness. It is in Waldorf Education. It is in various spiritual teachings. It is in people with Down Syndrome. And it is in you and me. All we need to do is look for the light, not to avoid the darkness; to see and accept with love and kindness what is true.
“The sun with loving light
Makes bright for me each day.
The soul with spirit power
Gives strength unto my limbs.
In the sunlight shining clear,
I reverence, O God,
The strength of humankind
Which Thou, so graciously,
Hast planted in my soul,
That I with all my might
May love to work and learn.
From Thee come light and strength,
To thee rise love and thanks.”