Yesterday we talked about the Big Zero. Minus, our resident math gnome, counted the cups of water that spilled from his bucket onto the sides of the path. It wasn't long before his bucket was empty and we were left with a sum of zero. It was a story about subtracting, but also one of giving, for you see Minus had sprinkled some flower seeds along the sides of the path and had chosen to give them life. We do that every day, don't we? We subtract. We give so that new things may come to life. When we hit the Big Zero, the possibilities are limitless.
Today was all about subtraction. Kitty Bill was cutting teeth, and so I gave. The phone kept ringing, so I gave. Sunburst inadvertently ripped the dishwasher out of the wall, and I gave. I subtracted the available minutes of my time and managed to only present the next form in our story of Robin Red: a spiral. In the story, Robin goes to the forest in search of Mother Earth and meets the messenger snail, ergo our spiral form emerged.
The girls then wisely subtracted themselves from the house and played outside for a good chunk of time. I went out to check on them at one point and found that Sunburst had been practicing making chalk spirals on the patio. Ten feet from that was a near perfect circle, sculpted of collected lawn clippings, and carefully decorated with birdseed and flowers.
A crop circle?
"A nest," explained Sunburst.
In Waldorf circles (ha) people talk much about letting a lesson sleep. It's precisely this way that new forms are conquered, new skills are mastered, and so forth. Sometimes we find lessons that we have to let steep for days within our subconscious. I know certain lessons I've been steeping for decades, and still haven't mastered inside myself. But I always forget the power of this sleeping/steeping process, and I'm often startled and amazed by the leaps and transformations these kids make, as if aliens have been visiting them in the night and sharing the secrets of the universe.
The big zero came back, during a time of zero expectations, as nature art. Making something out of nothing. Zero.
And the spirals? At dinner it occurred to me that it's the same; you start with nothing, a center, a zero, and you go outwards in such a limitless fashion. With zero we talked about meditation, a familiar concept in our house, in which the point is to get back to nothing. To let all the outward forces go and return to the center of spirit, the beating of your own heart.
Using the spiral last night, a spontaneous story of Clara came up. Clara, our good story companion, had a time when she was completely overwhelmed, such that she couldn't function. She's a wiseman's daughter and slated to take his place someday, and so of course she took that overwhelmed feeling and just sat with it. She closed her eyes and breathed, and we watched the spiral fold in as her cares washed away and when she reached the center she was still and calm and able to handle anything that came her way. At which point, Sunburst closed her eyes, and began to meditate.
Sometimes I wonder who's teaching who here. I think this one was a lesson for me.
*** Mood music brought to you by Dusty Springfield: ***
"Round; Like a circle in a spiral; Like a wheel within a wheel
Never ending or beginning; On an ever-spinning reel..."
"Like the circles that you find; In the windmills of your mind"