Friday, March 29, 2013
Our Autumn Festival
We long ago realised that our festivals now have their own energy and momentum. Whether we invite them or not, the people who are meant to be at any particular festival come. Sometimes there are big crowds, other times just one family. Each festival somehow comes together perfectly out of the chaos of our last minute organisation.
Our autumn festival last week was a case in point. We usually have them on the nearest Saturday to the solstice or equinox but that Saturday was taken up with our friends' wedding. The following weekend was Easter. So we thought we’d have it on the Thursday, the equinox itself which happened to be a public holiday. But then we didn’t get around to organising anything, or inviting anyone – we were all tired, recovering from colds and completely lacking in energy.
We thought it would probably end up just being us. The girls of course protested – half the fun for them is running around with their friends. So the day before we asked two sets of local friends if they’d like to come along to a very last minute festival. One family could, the other mother couldn’t get away, but her kids were determined to come anyway, another school friend asked to come and the daughter of the girls' riding teacher begged to come along, though her mother was going to be working. All of a sudden it became a children’s festival with just a bare minimum of adults along.
It worked perfectly. We put all the kids in charge of getting the circle and sandpit sorted. They carved gem squash, while two adults had a go at the pumpkins, and then the kids disappeared outside to build and decorate sand-castles.
The few adults sorted the food (soups, bread and bean stew, followed by the inevitable choccie pudding and guava fool), and wrote our blessings, found the printed vision prayers, put together a basket of harvest goodies and that was it. Simple and effective and just right for this particular occasion.
The one element that we didn’t manage this year was making straw angels, or rather angels from restios, flowers and any found natural material, but here are two posts from previous autumn festivals that show some pictures of them, as well as our kids looking so much younger that it begs sentimental nostalgia every time I look back!