Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nurturing Warmth at Martinmas


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St. Martin, St. Martin,
St. Martin road through wind and snow
on his strong horse his heart aglow
He rode so boldly through the storm,
his large cloak kept him well and warm.

By the road side, by the roadside,
by the roadside a poor man arose
out of the snow in tattered clothes
"I beg you help me in my plight
or else I'll die of cold tonight."

St. Martin, St. Martin,
St. Martin stopped his horse and drew
his sword and cut his cloak in two
one half to the beggar man he gave
and by this deed his life did save.

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Martinmas is a newer holiday for me to celebrate, but one that speaks very plainly to what I feel is an important movement during this time of late autumn and early winter. The festival is celebrated with lanterns containing the spark we found during Michaelmas season and are charged with carrying through the winter. As our sparks are held and protected we can be as generous as Martin was when he sliced his cloak in half to give to the beggar. The story of Martin is one of a man who made a flamboyant but genuine gesture of giving to someone in true need. As the winter cold begins to settle on the land, what can we do to both nurture our own spark and spread the warmth - physical, emotional and spiritual - to all the people of the world so in need of warmth.

Click on the image of the music below to go to a video of the song.

Be sure to check out In These Hills' post about Martinmas where I first learned this song (and all her other posts about Martinmas and the gesture of giving). Also, see the adorable pictures at Growing With My Girls and others that Carrie at The Parenting Passageway has linked to.

How are you marking the shift into winter? How are you protecting your spark as the days get darker? Are you involved in any charitable giving this time of year or making plans to do so as it draws nearer the winter holidays? How do you find, grow and spread warmth? Do you prefer to eat goose or almond shortbread cookies at Martinmas? Blessed Martinmas!

I took the photo of the sunrise mist and barn on my drive to my Quiet Little Mountain School. The lantern photo is from Recently Seen. Check out more of her photos on Flickr.

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Here are all my posts about
Halloween, which is the solar festival that Martinmas is aligned to.

Martinmas 2010: Martinmas


Sarah said...

Happy Martinmas. Our celebration has shifted as the girls have gotten older. We are having a party tonight. I hope I get some good photos.

barefoot mama said...

Beautiful job! I love coming here for info and ideas about festivals...Thank you!! Barefoot Mama

Sara said...

Hello! Do you know the origin of that Martin poem, by chance? If so, please let me know