Sunday, September 30, 2007


Of all the festivals we celebrate in Anthroposophy and the Waldorf schools, my favorite is Michaelmas. It celebrates the power within each of us to overcome the coldness of winter, both in the real and metaphoric sense. This time is seen as an opportunity for inner strength and renewal, an awakening of the soul after summers slumber.

I'm always so happy to live here where we get four seasons at this time of year, as the leaves turn and the harvest comes in and 'mums appear in everyones gardens and porches. And I really feel that inspiring shift that comes at summer's end, when evenings become for reading and curling up warm and starting those projects that summer was just too expansive for.

We have been having Michaelmas dinner for ten years now with our same friends, and this year we invited a new family, with littler children and one on the way.

Busy as I am right now, it wasn't a big event. But the tables were all set with 'mums from the garden and decorated candles. The house was clean. We baked dragon bread, special because it is spiced with cardamom, and made vegetable soup with all produce bought at the farmers market. We held hands and said grace, and we ate and enjoyed each others company and built a bonfire outside when it was dark.

And today, it really feels like autumn. The light is low and clear, and outside it is cool and very quiet. I feel energized and inspired, and peaceful, and really glad that we took time out from our lives to just be, because sometimes that feels like the last thing we can manage.
But that is what the festivals ask of us and give to us, reminding us that our lives are about something bigger than our everyday to do lists.

And finally, whether your season is turning to Spring or Fall, may the Archangel Michael spread his wings over all of us.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Thirty Five

For my thirty-fifth birthday today we let the kids skivvy off school and took them to a wide beach of Lake Erie to play.

The children had a lovely time and were thrilled not to be at school, the poor overworked things.

We climbed out over the breakwall, and Skaterboy was thrilled to catch a fish with the rather startling name, Black Crappie. Not to be confused, apparently, with Bondi Cigars, which is what it makes me think of.

We collected beach glass, smooth stones and pretty shells, and had a wild game of monkey in the middle in the water.

I had the full thirty-five candles on my cake, which really set it blazing. It would be reasonable I think, to expect that not withstanding something drastic and unforeseen, I must be about halfway through my journey here. And as my Dad so astutely pointed out, the slide is greased in this direction.

Thanks Dad. I'll take that wisdom and my beautiful stolen day at the beach with me into my thirty-sixth year.