As we move into Advent time, the classroom is cleared of the abundance of autumn to create an open space for life and goodness to come. There is a vine wreath on the table in the classroom with four candles. One is for each Sunday before Christmas. The first week of Advent honors the earth – the mineral world. The second week, we behold the plant world. Greenery and flowers are added to the wreath and classroom. The third week, we honor the animal world. During this week there are often conversations about some of the dear animal pets that live with the children.
The fourth week of Advent, we light a candle for humanity. In this dark time of year, we as human beings must let our inner light shine out to others. This is the verse we say as we light the candles:
The first light of Advent is the light of the stones,
That live in the seashells, crystals, and bones.
The second light of Advent is the light of the plants,
That reach up to the sun and in the breezes dance.
The third light of Advent is the light of the beasts;
The light of hope that we may see in the greatest and in the least.
The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind
The light of love, the light of thought, to know and understand.
This article originally appeared in the December 2010 edition of the Garden Breeze newsletter of the Waldorf School of Atlanta.