“The earth goes ’round the sun, the earth goes ’round the sun…”

Hello Friends,

I love the end of a calendar year. There is a collective invitation to reflect –to look back on the past 12 months and honor the journey. In our (3-9) programs, when students celebrate their birthday in class, a candle is lit to represent the sun, and the birthday student, holding a globe, walks around the candle as their peers sing, “the earth goes ’round the sun, the earth goes ’round the sun, it takes a year, your birthdays here, the earth goes ’round the sun.” Then for each year the student has been alive, the student pauses and shares something significant that happened (ex:”When I was three, I loved to draw all over my face.”) I love this Montessori ritual, because it shows the cosmic journey through time and space but also a very personal one–one that includes intimate moments that seem/are deeply important. It demonstrates the infinite nature of the cosmos and the finite nature of our lives. For me, these cycles; the end of a calendar year, a birthday, the earth’s orbit around the sun, are reminders that life is a mixture of hope and change while also feeling the ache that comes from knowing there is no dress rehearsal. This is the show.

Click to see a video of one of the birthday traditions.

We have all collectively journeyed around the sun together for another year. I must say, I have enjoyed the company 😉. Maybe it’s your 30th, 40th, 50th time around. The earth has been doing this circle dance for 4.5 billion years. Today, two (6-9) children celebrated their 8th journey. Over the next two weeks, I encourage us all to embrace, celebrate, and reflect on life’s cycles and our own unique place in it all.

Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz beautifully captures this feeling of the small and large aspects of life in his poem My-ness.

“My parents, my husband, my brother, my sister.”
Having breakfast in the cafeteria, I listen.
Women’s voices rustle and fulfill themselves
In a ritual we clearly need.
Out of the corner of my eye I watch their moving lips
And feel such sweetness, being here on earth,
One more moment, together, here on earth,
To celebrate our little my-ness.

Over the next week, the night will continue to stretch until it reaches December 21st (Winter Solstice), the longest night of the year. I hope all of you will be with the people you love, maybe remembering people you loved, “feeling such sweetness, being here on earth, one more moment, together, here on earth, to celebrate [your] little my-ness.”

We will see you in the new year as the light begins to grow and night shortens.

May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you be safe.
May you live with ease.

Jeff Groh

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