I don't know what it was about Martinmas this year, but after 21 years of celebrating, I think it was my favorite. Looking around at the aftermath of the event this morning, I'm conjuring up images of last night's activities that cause me to break into a wide smile. There were 37 people gathered here with their sumptuous soups, their fragrant breads, their bowls and spoons, their lanterns, and, most of all, their joyful good will. I don't know if it was the particular mix of people, or what, but our house was full to the brim with friendliness. It could have been that, for the very first time, we had a grandchild attending Martinmas. I've been waiting a such a LONG time for a child of our own to once again join us for this traditional event. Oliver was apparently delighted with the lantern walk and held his lantern tightly in the safety of his mother's arms, kicking with delight, as we processed down our driveway. It was a particularly dark, magical night with nothing but bright, twinkling stars and our little sparkling lanterns to light the way. I giggle as I remember Denny (3) riding on his mother's back singing at the top of his lungs, one beat behind the rest of us. And my little band of children singing with gusto at the front of the pack. This gang, who I have known and loved since their infancy, are now the children's choir for our annual Martinmas lantern walk. I remember 21 years ago, it was Ben and his friends at the front of the procession. Then, later, it was Serena, Robert, and Donovan who sang with such loud and beautiful voices behind me. Now we have Anu, Kay, Denny, Jonah, Sparrow, Eli, Kendall, and Forest. In another 4 or 5 years it will be Oliver and Mahalia and Milo and Acacia and... who knows who else!
We also had some new adult faces here, not the least of which were Nathen and Reanna's. It felt so great to have them participating and getting to know, as a couple, this wonderful group of people we call friends. Oh, life is good! There are many stories about St. Martin. This statue depicts the legend of St. Martin cutting his cloak in half to cover a begger.