“The Sun, with loving light makes bright for me each day.”
I love the words of Rudolf Steiner. He is the founder and creator of Waldorf Education which is how my children have been educated. Each morning every child in the school from Early Childhood through High School recites a poem that is age appropriate about reverence and grace and an appreciation of learning. It has been a gift my husband and I have been able to give our children. They have been at a Waldorf School for their entire education except for one year. We have been a part of the Kimberton Waldorf School community for 15 years. My son will graduate next year. I am deeply grateful for the beautiful way my son and daughter have been taught to learn to love themselves, others, the earth and the love of learning.
My wish through these years has been to have this education accessible to many more children. It is expensive and impossible for many families to afford. I believe it would bring a different, clearer kind of light to the world. In its essence Waldorf Education is curative. It is healing, and through the many years we have been there as parents, and through our children, I see how it brings a wholeness to others.
Loving light is key. In our work in Leadership Development, through the beauty and depth of the Enneagram, we gently explore what is hidden, what Carl Jung referred to as ‘our shadows’. We shed light on what we don’t want to see or know about ourselves to help regain wholeness. We cannot know or understand light without knowing and understanding darkness. My partner and I attempt to do similar things for adults and in the business world that Waldorf Education does for children. We help individuals gain an understanding of what their gifts, and other’s gifts are. As we help shed light on what is uniquely perfect in others they integrate into their wholeness.
When we complete our work with others there is a new appreciation and reverence. They look at themselves and others with more humanity, grace and compassion. One of my children’s teachers told me she always looked at who the children were becoming and would hold that image of them in her awareness. The teachers in Waldorf Education 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 behavior and not their essence. That is what the Enneagram helps people understand and differentiate. We are not our ego. We are our light.
It is something Cindy knew so well. She knew light. She never got bogged down in ego 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 sounds and feels so schmaltzy when I write it and I know it to be true. This world is full of illuminating processes and ways to move into more wholeness. It is in Waldorf Education. It is in the teaching of The Enneagram. It is in people with Down Syndrome. We need to look for the light, not to avoid the darkness, but to see 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.”