Tonight we held the Friends of Lavendilly House Winter Festival. Oh it was so lovely! We met early for a play in the park, and an early picnic dinner and just as the sun went down we gathered for some songs, a story and finishing with a lantern walk. We walked our lanterns through a candle-lit spiral laid out on the 
ground, and then we stood in the circle and sang lullabys. 

The mood of the evening was mellow, and it was such a beautiful thing to
 share this experience with my good friends. I've been so excited all day! Simple pleasures are the best ones I think. Tonight was proof of that. Our spiral circle wasn't quite as spectacular as the one pictured ... but that didn't matter. What was really lovely for me tonight was the attention from some children who were watching me lay out the spiral. I don't know who they were, but they were so interested they couldn't help coming close to watch. Eventually they helped me position the candles in the bags, and they lit the candles too. They found sticks for the lanterns and helped me set them all up. They were going to go back home and ask if they could listen to our story. I hope they were able to return, but in the darkness I couldn't see them.

I so enjoyed telling my story tonight. It is my own version of the Grims Fairytale "Star Money". David strummed and droned on the guitar in the background, and that was magic. It set the scene for the story, at a slow walking pace, and carried us through as we followed the journey of the little girl out in the cold winter night. The story is a perfect reflection of winter time. The story follows the journey of a little girl who gives away all she has, and lays down to die in the snow. She is brought to new life by Mother Mary and her Son and rewarded for her generosity with heavenly riches. Yes, it is a bit sad, but to me that is the story of winter. It is death and rebirth. And for the sake of the children, I only alluded to the death of the little girl. Imagine this song sung in a slow, minor mood (make up your own tune):

retold by Jennifer McCormack

One cold and frosty winter night
A little girl walked alone
She had no food, nor carried a light
She had no money, nor a home. money, nor a home ...

She came upon an old woman
Who was so frail and ill
She had no hat upon her head
To keep out winter chills.
The little girl took off her hat
And gave it willingly
She said to the old woman
"You need this more than me".
... you need this more than me...

She came upon a little boy
Whose feet were cold and blue
He'd walked along this winter night
Without any shoes.
The little girl took off her shoes
And gave them willingly
She said to the little boy
"You need them more than me".
 ... you need them more than me ...

She came upon a small, small girl
Whose dress was full of holes
It was so thin and did not keep
Out the winter cold.
The little girl took off her dress
And gave it willingly
She said to the small, small girl
"You need this more than me."
... you need this more than me ...

The little girl had nothing left
She lay down on the ground
The winter night was bitter cold
She prayed she would be found.
Mother Mary and her Son
Looked down from above
"She gave away all she had,
Let's send her down our love."
... send her down our love  ...

Mary spun some moon threads
Into a silken dress
And all the stars turned into gold
And rained about her head.
And when the little girl arose
She was no longer cold
And all about her, glittering
Lay pieces of star gold.
 ... pieces of star gold ...

** You are welcome to use my story, please ask my permission first, thank you**

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