"Hraldmonath" is the anglo saxon name for this volatile, windy and changeable month. The term "hrald" literally translates to"rough" so "hraldmonath" is usually a rough month. Rough because we can feel spring in our bones but must still endure many days of cold and bitter winds. However, the days are lengthening and brightening and we can smell spring on the breeze.
The willow across the street hangs her yellow tresses in a fashion that suggests a shaking off of winter. Juniper Glen is brightening up its spaces too! We knocked down a wall to let in more light and are planning on painting the spaces in cool colour that both calms and enlightens our minds!
I've also drafted the curriculum for our upcoming year and am planning each of the lessons with a particular focus on moments of transition like tidying toys away, coming back indoors after romping outside and saying our goodbyes. All of these periods of change are like the transitions of the seasons - it can sometimes be difficult to let go and ready ourselves for the next experience in the rhythm of our day or year.
For children, song, rhyme, and musical sounds lend themselves beautifully to easing us from one activity to the next. Singing a song, strumming the lap harp and playing a small melody on the piano let the children know that we are gently switching from one moment to the next. Here is an example of the song we sing to tidy up after free play:
Tic toc goes the clock What does it have to say? Time for us to pick up our toys And put them all away.
Accompanied by assistance in sorting and storing, doesn't that seem like a much gentler transition than clapping and hollering out "Time to clean up! Let's get ready for song circle!"?
In March, the rugged winds bring rains and rain means rainbows of colour! This month, we celebrate "Holi" the Hindu festival of colour and we tap into the luck o' the Irish by making rainbow finger kites that fly us to our pots of gold. Shamrocks sit in pots on the nature table next to our seedlings in the bright sunshine.
I sip my milky chai tea and the children help me chop leeks for the delicate soups of spring and to flavour poached fish for dinner. Yes. Change can be rough but oh so welcome at this lovely time of year.