Monday, September 29, 2014

Celebrating Michaelmas

"Brave and true I will be
Each good deed sets me free.
Each kind word makes me strong.
I will fight for the right,
I will conquer the wrong."









Today is Michaelmas. The Michaelmas festival reminds us to both summon and honor the courage displayed each and every day – in noble acts big and strong. It reminds us to be a champion for others, to look for the good in all and to always strive toward our fullest human potential. The festival is named for the archangel Michael, the guardian of humanity, who inspires courage, initiative and steadfastness. The image of St. Michael with his golden sword, gives us the courage to face the growing cold and darkness of the turning of season. As the world around us draws inward, we too begin to draw into ourselves in preparation of the coming season of introspection and contemplation. 

This weekend, for the second year, we gathered with a few other families to celebrate. We keep the celebration on the light side, after all our kiddos are quite young. The idea is not to tell them what the celebration is about, but to bring it to them through song, verse and story, and then let it sit with them. Over the years, as they grow up, we will bring the festival to them in a deeper, more tangible way that will explain the significance of this festival.

For the last few weeks, our morning circle time has included a song about St. Michael, and we have been working to memorize the verse above, which was recited at our celebration on the weekend. On Saturday, as the families arrived, the kids played and the adults chatted. We enjoyed organic apple cider warmed over the open fire, apples were roasted, the kids bobbed for apples, corn husk dolls and star wands were made, and finally, we gathered around the fire where a friend shared the story of The Kite by U. de Haes, from the Wynstones Press Autumn book, and the kids recited their verse. After sharing our gratitude with each other, we said our meal time blessing, and dug into our potluck. 

We gathered on blankets, around the yard, kids and adults, sharing food, conversation, and laughter. I looked around and my heart was filled with joy. A small group of families, coming together to celebrate Michaelmas, the harvest and to welcome autumn, families we spend a lot of time with, families who get us, and the path we walk. I can't tell you how wonderful that feels.

After dinner, apple crisp was enjoyed for dessert, and as the sun began to slowly set the kids played some more, and the adults gathered around the warm fire. It was a simple, but meaningful celebration. Over the years we will bring deeper meaning to this day, and it will grow into something more. But for now, this was perfect.

36 comments:

  1. So interesting Kim, thanks for sharing this special occasion with us.
    I have never heard of Michaelmas before, so this is all very new to me!
    Got to say everything l hear about the Waldorf movement, l like. Today, when seemingly the whole world has turned mad..how encouraging to come together with like minded people to celebrate such good and simple ideals. Lovely stuff. xx

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    1. Happy to share, and so happy that you found it interesting. Waldorf is pretty amazing in so many ways, and I am so happy to be able to bring it to Reece.

      Thank you my friend. xo

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  2. Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate together. Makes such a difference to find friends you can be 'you' with :-)

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  3. I remember the last celebration and I am just amazed that a whole year has whizzed by. Lovely photos and the husk dolls are lovely :)

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    1. I know, it has flown by. Crazy!

      Thank you.

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  4. So lovely Kim! We are celebrating today also! I like the corn husk dolls. I will do that with the girls today! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Much Love,

    Tiffany

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    1. Happy Michaelmas Tiffany and family! Hope you had a lovely day of celebrating, and that you enjoyed the corn husk dolls. They are so much fun.

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  5. what a wonderful tradition to have and such a beautiful way to teach the virtue of courage. I also like the looks of your apple crisp...yum !!!

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    1. Thank you. It was yum! Another is in the plans for Wednesday :)

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  6. That looks like a perfect day, how great that you have like minded friends with young children close by too.

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    1. It really was perfect in so many ways. I feel very grateful to have found these wonderful families. While we share many of the same philosophies, we also have our differences, which keeps things fresh and exciting.

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  7. Kim, your weekend sounds truly wonderful! (For kids and adults!) It is a true blessing to connect to families and friends who "get" you. It's not always easy being a trailblazer - sometimes it gets lonely. I am happy you were able to experience this deep connection amidst the beauty of fall.

    Wishing you many joys for your coming week!

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    1. Thank you Alexa, it was really wonderful. You have no idea what a blessing it has been. Lonely hits the mark for my first few years as a mother, it was hard, but now, things are different, and I couldn't be more grateful.

      Thank you my friend, wishing the same for you and your family.

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  8. What a great celebration! I have never heard of this day, so it was really interesting reading your post and finding out more about. I will be curious as to how your celebration develops through the years. Thanks so much for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, always happy to share. I am interested to see how it changes over the years as well. I have some ideas, but we won't know for sure til we get there.

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  9. I love that you keep it simple! And I still love those corn husk dolls. :)

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  10. What a wonderful day! Looks like a happy happy celebration!

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    1. Thank you, it was! So wonderful to gather with like minded families, enjoy good conversation and food, and watch our children run around free and wild :)

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  11. What a beautiful way to celebrate Kim. I love the dolls!

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    1. Thanks Tracey. Those dolls were a bit hit with the kids :)

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  12. Happy Michaelmas, dear friend! I so wish that we lived close enough so that we could celebrate together! Your gathering and celebration sounds just perfect! xo

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    1. And to you Shel. It would have been wonderful to have you here, the girls would have loved it. xo

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  13. Sounds like a wonderful celebration!! And those corn husk dolls! Love those!!

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    1. Thanks Summer, we had a wonderful time. Aren't they awesome! We made them last year too, and the kids just love them.

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  14. A wonderful celebration and tradition. I wish we had some more like minded people nearby. It looks like it was a fun and beautiful evening. Be well.

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    1. Thank you, it was. Keep your eyes and ears open. It has taken me a few years to find this group of like minded mamas and their families. Just keep asking the universe to point you in the right direction, and be sure to put yourself out there a little bit. Good luck!

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  15. Oh how I love your description of the festival. I'll be honest, I was trying to find out what it was and sources were very different in their interpretation. I think I like yours the best.

    So happy you had such a lovely celebration. xo

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    1. This description is a very light one, but I think shares the meaning behind the festival. Or at least the meaning we bring to it.

      Thank you, it was really lovely and very much enjoyed. xo

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  16. What a wonderful celebration.

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    1. Thank you, it was really lovely.

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  17. It sounds beautiful Kim! We celebrated with our coop last Wednesday morning by making dragon bread, singing songs, and hearing a story about a dragon. Simple, but so sweet.

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    1. Thank you Rachel, it was. Your celebration sounds lovely too. Keeping things simple really is the way to go.

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  18. What a lovely way to celebrate the day. The cornhusk dolls look so fun- always wanted to make them.

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    1. Thank you, it was a really wonderful day. They are a ton of fun, and you should definitely make some :)

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