Disinclined as I am to leave intellectual offerings of belief at the feet of any God, I am spangled with irrational superstitions that patch together the hastily-sewn fabric of my inner intuitive mind, a tie-dye of overlapping, nonsensical faith. If it rains today, then it won't tomorrow. If I roll the dice again I'll see what I would have gotten. If I concentrate enough, the traffic light will change when I come to it; or one better: If I let my intuition pick the route, the traffic will be all in my favor. Yeah, okay, I never speak them aloud, (and thank goodness I now realize) but they are real to me. They function; they are a tint in the glasses I wear.
So it seemed right and fair this week that it rained, that inconsistent, shifty sort of smattering that chills you, making you feel that you are being punished. My co-teacher must have felt the same way I do because on Wednesday at lunch she told the children:
"My dear friends (the first three words are sung, a little tune that I hum to myself all day long), not today, not tomorrow, but the next day we won't come to school, instead we'll go to the park. And our owls, the 5-year-olds will be jumping the log for kindergarten. Now I've been talking to the rain fairies, and the sun fairies and telling them: 'you may rain today, you may rain tomorrow, but please, please, please sun fairies, we want to be with you all day on Friday so that our children may play in the dry green grass with their mommies and daddies or two mommies or two daddies and feel the warm sun on their faces all day long.'"
So of course this morning I woke up to cloudless skies (an almost impossibility in this city!) and trees green with the wash of sun. Did you know that everything, everything looks different in the sun? Sensitive as I have become to light, I've learned to start, actually gasp at the sight of a shadow or a dappled leaf. And then I turn and search for the source, wary of trickery and like my life depended on it, like a strange-but-not-total inverse of the poor soul who sees that little red dot of light that means a sniper is trained to its target. Ah, the sun. An altogether more benevolent source.
And jumping the log. It seems to me a brilliant stroke of ingenuity that in a school where the basic course goals are putting on your own shoes and rain pants, climbing up nets and trees, stacking wood and tying ropes tight enough to swing from, the mark of world-readiness is not reciting the alphabet, not even singing in Spanish (the latter of which we will do today), but jumping over a hunk of felled tree. This is Waldorf; this is what I've learned. It's all about learning to be in your body, finally after all this time of holding onto heaven.
Being in your body means you've done just what we've tried to teach you. You have two strong feet on the ground, you can greet the dear earth, you can greet the sun; the stones which rest, the plants which grow, the beasts which run, you can greet your neighbor in all I say and do and you and I on earth are one. And if you can do all those things, you can jump high if you want to.
And oh, you do, because when you do, just today, you will receive a golden key from one of your teachers, and you won't know what it opens until you grow up, and then you'll see. It opens everything.
So today I greet the light myself with a buoyant heart, shaking my head at the myself all the same, but happy to be here at the end of the school year, with dear friends and the sun, no matter what the fairies had to do with it.