I was an energetic, emotional, creative child. In my parent’s eyes, I was a handful!
I was raised in a distinctly “pragmatic” family with repressive rules and unrealistic expectations for children. I was definitely a fish out of water in that materialistic and competitive environment. I wanted a warmer and more generous way of growing up for my own children.
When I discovered Waldorf, I found a potent ally in my determination to have my children reach adulthood with their souls intact. The sheer beauty of the classrooms, the thought and meaning behind everything, the amazing commitment and patient focus of the faculty brought me to tears on many occasions.
I first heard about the ideals of Truth, Beauty and Goodness from my daughter’s Waldorf grades teacher, Mary Jane DiPiero, in 1998. They have shone like a beacon for me ever since, giving me hope and encouragement through some very dark times.
Many times over the years I have pondered these three pillars of the “new reality” I began to cultivate since taking on the “Waldorf Way” when I was a young mother. I have sought to understand their individual significance as well as their relationship to each other and the world.
Truth has always seemed the most important, and, at the same time, been the most daunting, obscure, and even troubling one of the three, like a minefield just waiting for me to make a wrong move. That is, until I had an illuminating experience with my puppetry and a child.
One day at the end of my puppet story circle, a little girl who was new in that preK class said to me, “I remember you!” her face alight with joy. I realized almost a year before, I had gone one time to her preschool. Pure, innocent love poured from her soul into mine. In that moment I understood that for me, Truth is Love! And Love will always lead me to Truth. And that ever since coming to Waldorf seeking something good and beautiful and true for my children, I have been learning how to let Love be the true guide of my life.
They say the truth will set you free. For me, finding purpose and happiness in life has come slowly, through discovering what I truly love and through learning to truly love myself. Not following what I’m told I should value, not allowing fear to make my choices, but exercising the true freedom to say “yes” to what I really love, without fear, without reservation.
Now, Truth is so simple for me! Wherever, whenever, with whomever I find Love, there is my Truth.
Madrone D’Ardenne is a puppeteer and storyteller in Santa Cruz, CA, performing in local schools there, as well as in performances open to the public and at private events. Her company, Tiny House Theater, also offers classes for children and adults, teacher trainings and parent evenings. You can learn more on her website, tinyhousetheater.com