A mama friend of mine, Candice, recently said something that I thought was so spot-on, that lots of us are attracted to Waldorf ideas because we wish that we could look back on our childhoods and see more peace, and gentleness, and beauty. And for a moment, I thought, yes! That's what I liked about Waldorf! That's what I wanted to get from the peachy-pink milk-painted walls and stories of acorn-capped friends and hours spent strolling among wildflowers making fairy houses and drinking chamomile tea sweetened with honey. Peace, gentleness, beauty.
But then I remembered something. My mom had the Hearth Song catalog back in the '80s. We did have little gnomes and pretty wooden instruments and sweet naturey books and tons of arts and crafts supplies around. I don't think my mom knew or cared a thing about Waldorf (we went to Catholic schools as kids), and it didn't matter. She picked and chose what she thought would be interesting and fun for us to learn about or do or play with.
Having had a lot of that already in my childhood, I don't think I was looking back longing for it. I think I was looking in longing for it. Gosh, who isn't? Who doesn't want inner peace, to be gentle in thought and deed, to see one's self and the world as beautiful? I think our kids want that, too, and not in retrospect, but right now.
And for Woody, inner peace sometimes comes cuddled next to his mom on the couch with a quilt watching Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas. Gentleness is giving his brother the toy he picked out of the treasure box at the dentist office because Fox lost his in the thrift store. Beautiful is running fast across the field at the park and the way his toes feel in a mud puddle.
And then, then in the thick soup that is life experience, moments such as these can arise spontaneously, equal to and enriched by all the others:
(Woody, sitting at the computer playing an aim-and-throw game, calls me into the room where the back door is open to let the dogs go in and out.) "Mom, do you hear the birds singing outside? Isn't it delightful?"