The Rainbow Bridge
There’s a tradition in Waldorf kindergartens of telling a special story on each child’s birthday. The story tells of their journey from the spiritual world to be born as a baby on earth. I’m not an anthroposophist, so it may seem odd that I tell this story to my children, but I absolutely love it! I’ve told it to several children and it’s interesting to me that I’ve never had a child ask me what an angel is or what the rainbow bridge is or if the story is true. They’re just captivated.
Every teacher makes this story their own and adapts it to their children, so what I’m sharing below is our family’s version. There are a few different examples in the book Beyond the Rainbow Bridge. Here was Sierra’s birthday story from just this week:
(The birthday child starts out sitting by herself, facing her family who are sitting together on the couch.)
Once upon a time there was a beautiful angel who lived high up in the heavens, up above the clouds. The angel was happy in her home above the clouds, and she loved peering down to watch the people on earth. She especially loved to watch the children! She would watch them play, and run, and laugh, and she decided that she too would like to be a child. So she peered through the clouds and searched and searched for just the right family for her. And when she found Aaron and Kelly and big sister Aiya she knew that they were the perfect family for her. So she left behind her angel wings and crossed over the rainbow bridge...
(I spread out a long rainbow cloth and she walks across to sit with her family)
...and on earth a little baby was born. Aaron and Kelly thought she was the most beautiful baby and they named her Sierra Sophia.
(I tell more about the day she was born and meeting her sister. Then we all recall details and milestones together from each year of her life.)
When Sierra was a baby she….and when she was one year old she….and when she was two years old she….and when she was three years old she….and now Sierra is four years old, shining with her heart of gold!
And finally, we sing this song!
In heaven shines a golden star,
An angel brought me from afar,
From heaven high unto the earth,
And brought me to my place of birth.
Welcome, welcome, lovely day,
With sunshine bright and flowers gay,
With painted birds that sing their song,
To make me happy and kind and strong.
(Note: I changed the original from “good” to “happy.”)
Now it’s your turn:
Do you tell the rainbow bridge story on birthdays? And what’s your favorite family birthday tradition? I would love to hear all about it in the comments below!