There is not much of a Waldorf presence in my little corner of Iowa. Make no mistake, it’s a wonderful place to live; the neighborhood is friendly and safe and the real estate is affordable. You can’t walk three blocks without finding yourself at a playground, and people really take care of each other. I have made great friends. But the lack of a Waldorf community makes me ache with loneliness sometimes. I need my people, dang it. I need to not have to explain why we aren’t pushing reading on our toddler and why we aren’t worried that he’ll be behind other kids simply because we don’t allow him to use an iPad. I need people who, you know, don’t think, “That Casey is nice but she sure had some weird ideas. And what’s with all the gnomes?” So you have to understand how wonderful it was to attend my first Waldorf school function. I made my husband drive us an hour and a half to the Harvest Fest at the only Waldorf school on this side of the state. It was amazing.
Stick with me for a minute here; I promise there’s a connection: when I met my husband, I just knew. We were best friends immediately, and we never looked back. I was home. Not to be too dramatic, but this is sort of how I felt when we arrived at Singing Cedars. This was it. These were my people.
The campus is just beautiful. It feels both sprawling and intimate. Trees surround the play area, providing shade and climbing opportunities. There’s a mud kitchen and rocker boards, a slightly ramshackle playhouse and tree stumps galore. There were fairy gardens and a little vine covered nook that my toddler would have sat in for hours had we allowed him. Heck, there were even cows.
My feeling of home wasn’t just from the playground, however. For the first time, I heard the classic Good Morning Dear Earth song sung by a group of voices instead of just my own. I may or may not have become a little emotional. I loved how the kids seemed at once somehow younger and yet more independent. And I thoroughly enjoyed watching my son’s face as he watched the Michaelmas play. It was magical to see him connect the dots between the stories and books and toys at home and the dragon play in front of him.
Where an I going with all this? I don’t even really know! I think it just really hit me how important community is. Our visit was an oddly profound experience for me. I kept telling my husband, “This is what I want for our kids.” For one afternoon, I didn’t have to explain myself. I was surrounded by families like ours, at a school that was peaceful, wild, and beautiful. Our day at Singing Cedars was perfect. I really hope that wherever we end up after Bob’s residency, there is another Waldorf school we can call home.
How about you? What’s your community like? Have you found your Waldorf home?