In our Advent Garden,
Dark the Earth below,
Earth is waiting, waiting, waiting
For her seeds to grow.

The Advent Garden is a festival announcing the coming of the light. At a turning point in the year when the growing darkness of autumn gives way to winter, days grow shorter and shorter, and we are ready for the return of the sun. This festival is a community celebration of quiet confidence, of carrying light into the darkness, of sharing that light with others.

This event includes no presentations by the Grades or speeches by adults. Instead, parents sit in silence in a darkened room, listening to quiet, beautiful music. The class enters the darkened room to see a carefully prepared spiral path of evergreens on the floor, a symbol of life amidst the dormant winter. The spiral is dotted with golden stars, crystals, shells, flowers, red berries, and other treasures. In the center of the spiral is a single candle which is lit by an “angel” dressed in white. Then one by one, each child receives an unlit candle placed in an apple before taking a turn to walk the path alone toward the light at the center of the spiral, at his or her own pace in his or her own way. After their candle has been lit, the child then carefully walks back through the spiral to find a place to rest their apple along the path. Each light brightens the way for those who’ll travel the path next.

Being a witness to this journey can be a moving experience, and adults and children alike are left with the emotions and meaning they found within this event. The path each child takes through the spiral represents an inner journey to find his or her own “light” within. In the very center of ourselves, we discover the unique beauty, strength, insight, and talents that we each have to offer. We then turn from this inner discovery to share our gifts and soul light back out into the world.

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