By: Becky Larson
Today is the first day for City of Lakes Waldorf School students in grades 1 through 8, and, as always, we began the year with our Rose Ceremony. This special assembly opens the school year by drawing a parallel between the first grader’s beginning their educational journey and the eighth graders who are drawing their journey to a close.
The ceremony begins with a special story from the first grade teacher, this year, Jessica Crawford. She told a beautiful story about a brother and sister who went on a quest to catch a star. Their journey was long, and filled with interesting characters, including a beautiful burbling brook, a horse, (he went by the name of Fourfoot) and a tribe of Little Folk. It was a cliffhanger, and Ms. Crawford told the parents and other students that to discover the rest of the story, we would have to find a first grader to tell us the ending.
Next, one by one, each eighth grade student presented a rose to each first grade student as a welcome into the grade school. After receiving the gift of a rose, each first grader crossed a tiny wooden bridge decorated with a rainbow of silks and wildflowers to be greeted by their new teacher.
As I watched, I was struck by how smoothly everything went, despite the fact that no rehearsal had taken place. Instead, each child was calmly and gently guided, and able to do exactly what was asked of them. Nicolas Carter, alumni parent played beautiful harp music to accompany each child as they walked across, and they immediately grasped the sense of beauty and occasion and behaved accordingly. Each child sat quietly with the little roses swaying above their heads, wide-eyed as the other children took their turns and found their seats, one by one.
Ms. Crawford reminded us that the first graders will become eighth graders in their own time, gaining poise, strength, creativity and clarity of thought as they grow and change over the next eight years at City of Lakes Waldorf School. But she urged us not to rush them- to enjoy and savor each moment for what it is, especially since the years fly so quickly.
As each first grader met each eighth grader, I was struck by how their characters came shining through, even though they didn’t say a word. The essence of each child was there already, looking to be nurtured and guided into blossoming. There was hardly a dry eye in the house.