|Welcoming Mother Hulda's Ascendancy, 2014.|
tradition |trəˈdiSHən|noun1 the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way -- Apple Dictionary
To cultivate tradition is to work with repetition & consistency. Not really my forte if the truth be told, yet here we are, three years in the making of a new tradition: Mother Hulda's Night.
What is this about, really? What began as an act of intuition shows layers of meaning, symbolism & import. There is a strengthening of familial bonds, a sense of shared ceremony -- one which includes the children in essential roles, a recognition of changing seasons & the passage of time, a recurrent reinforcement of values through the wisdom of fables -- the lesson books of the Ancestors.
I believe this one works in part because of its simplicity & clarity. It must be available to happen when Hulda makes her move, there is no room for elaborate elements or preparations. We must be ready when she is.
Two more years of memories, each a reflection of the other, yet always the differences brought about by the passage of time.
In 2013, Mother Hulda's enduring, fat flakes arrived on November 10th. The Changeling had the honor of being "officiant." Hulda's welcoming ceremony didn't change much from the inaugural event in 2012...
First, pyjamas. Next, the same filigree, wheel-trimmed bowl with candle nestled in freshly fallen snow,
|The Changeling with Welcome Light for Mother Hulda, 2013.|
Followed by a short procession to the windowsill (a new one for us in 2013) to place the votary as a sign of heartfelt Welcome,
Then to bed for the reading of Grimm's "Mother Hulda," illustrated by Arthur Rackham.
|Illustration from "Mother Hulda" by Arthur Rackham.*|
And when we are finished, we talk about the new snow, Winter & the story -- what it means to be helpful, conscientious & thoughtful of others. We all lay back to imagine Mother Hulda shaking her fluffy white bedcovers & thusly, we go to sleep.
In 2014, Mother Hulda's enduring, fat flakes arrived on November 29th, but because we were not at home that night, we celebrated her arrival on the evening of the 30th. This year the Little Lad (who isn't so little anymore) did the honors...
|Little Lad with Welcome Light for Mother Hulda, 2014.|
And because this is tradition, you know what came next...
*To read the story (in a variety of languages), visit "Mother Hulda" at the Grimm's Fairy Tales website.