In most places around the country falling leaves signal the arrival of autumn. Not so in Phoenix. When leaves at the Seed finally cover the ground, we know we’re well on our way to winter. Even though the winter solstice is still a week away, the leaf-covered ground is a sign that our balmy days are over, at least for a month or two. The carpet of leaves, dampened by recent rains, is as close as we’ll get to any kind of winter ground cover, unlike other places blanketed with snow. We receive these leaves as our indication that the seasons have changed. Our students aren’t able to build snowmen with leaves, but they do enjoy jumping in the piles and tossing them around.
We know it’s winter when we have foggy mornings and damp grass greeting the sunrise. Although some children are hesitant to give up their shorts and short sleeves, the majority of them bring a jacket to school, even though it’s often shed by midday. It makes me smile to see a child entering the playground wearing a down jacket and flip-flops. Rain boots are popular this time of year, too, even when the sun is out. There’s less water play and more imaginative play with natural materials on the periphery of the playground.
The most significant way I know we’re on the threshold of winter is our school-wide preparation for the Seed’s annual Celebration of the Winter Solstice. Each class is enthusiastically preparing a dance for the performance, which will be held next Wednesday evening, December 18, at South Mountain High School. It will begin at 7 PM and all children, including toddlers, will perform. This year’s production is based on the book, Tomorrow I’ll Be Brave by Jessica Hische. Each December is filled with rehearsals, making costumes and props, and singing in anticipation of this wonderful Seed event. It’s a celebration of the season, as well as the Seed’s devotion to creativity, compassion, inclusion, and planetary stewardship. We hope you can join us for this delightful evening, our gift to all of you who support the important work of children and teachers at Awakening Seed.