In two weeks we will experience a new Seed event and, perhaps, tradition. Since the 1980s we’ve celebrated the winter solstice as a universal approach to the holidays, in respect for the variety of families the Seed serves. The original celebration included music, singing, and dancing. Each class was responsible for preparing a dance that became part of the evening program. It was a given that the month of December would be devoted to preparing the choreography, rehearsing, making costumes and props, and finally performing. Since the crowd size was too big to hold on campus, we’ve used public school gymnasiums, the ASU dance department stage, and high school theater stages. Our most recent setting was the stage at South Mountain High School. Then the pandemic arrived.
Last year we didn’t have a winter solstice celebration at all. We thought of doing a virtual performance, but in the end decided to use all of our energy to providing our students and teachers a more relaxed December. In hindsight, it was an excellent decision. When the lead teachers met in October to discuss the plan for this year, we knew we weren’t ready to hold our usual indoor event. Additionally, we embraced the reality of the large number of students we have under five, and the level of stress all the rehearsals add to December. It seemed like something new needed to happen. Then one of the teachers suggested a luminaria walk outdoors on our Seed playground. It was the birth of a new Seed celebration of the winter solstice.
A committee came together to formulate the basic plan, and we moved forward with preparations. We set our intention for the event, which is to offer an evening of gathering to honor our community in a safe, family-oriented way. The Seed is committed to being a true source of light on Planet Earth and, as a symbol of that, we have decided to use real candles in our luminarias.
Welcoming the Winter Solstice: from Darkness to Light will be held on the Seed playground, Thursday evening, December 16th, from 5:30-7:30 PM. Each family will sign up for a time slot for attending the event. Upon arrival, your family will enter through the west side gate and follow the luminaria pathway through the playground. Each class is creating an installation of children’s art, which will be situated along the luminaria pathway. At Gwen’s Castle, you’ll have a chance to light a candle and write a dedication to someone on a small cloth flag. The flags will be available ahead of time if you want to write on yours beforehand. There will be music at the event. All families will exit through the building and out the front gate.
To protect the safety of our young students and our community, we are requiring everyone five and up to wear a mask. We suggest that you bring a flashlight, dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes for navigating uneven surfaces of the path. Since we are using real candles, we ask parents to keep your children with you at all times and monitor them along the luminaria pathway. If you or anyone in your party needs an alternative route or wheelchair accommodations, please let us know. Grandparents and extended family are welcome to attend as well. We look forward to sharing this emerging new event with you in celebration of all the light our Seed community brings to the world.