Tuesday, September 29, 2009

St. Michael's Day

The great thing about going to the hippie school is that there are all sorts of festivals and events I've never heard of. At this school which is more "traditional" (as in "We're 30 years old - why would we change?") the events, holidays and festivals are very Eurocentric. Our old school had some fun Hindi festivals - including one involving spraying each other with colored water - so the festivals here, like Whitsun in the Spring for comparison, where you wear white, sit quietly and hear a long story, is not so appealing to children or the adults who have to sit through it. But I digress. So, without further ado - here's Michaelmas----


The celebration of Michaelmas commemorates the Archangel Michael and the archetype Michael represents. He is a well known figure in icon painting - usually shown with shield and lance or fiery sword, gazing outward while subduing the dragon underfoot.

Taking up a new task has long been a theme for this season. The task Michael offers us all, when he casts the great dragon into the earth, can become very real in our lives whenever we wish to take a new step on our inner journey, to raise ourselves a little above our nature. Then we discover that into the earth means into us also, for we are immediately caught in in a battle with the weight, the inflexibility and the intractability within our own being.

Michael beckons us to find the spirit to come alive through the dying year. The flashing meteor showers are said to be the sword he wields for us; each falling star is made of iron, the iron we need to strengthen the resolution of heart. The seed-thoughts of summer can be harvested now as deeds - to find their place in the world among people and to generate a life of their own which goes on into the future.

swiped from the school newsletter who swiped it from "All Year Round" by Ann Druitt.

Cuteness: The first grade and their teacher prepare for their part as the gnomes who forge Michael's sword.

The cast begins to enter the stage. Fourth grade royalty arrive...

"psst - Hey B & Z, there's my Dad" or maybe, since they are 4th graders now, it was more like "psst, B & Z, look at Mr. Hess! He's wearing another purple tunic!" *giggle*

Second grade farmers take their places...

And the play begins! "la, la, la... we are the farmers..."

"la, la, la, skip in a circle and find your partners..."

But all is not well for the farmers. They ask the royal family for help. The royal family offers the following advice "we can't help, just sacrifice someone, everyday, to the dragon. That might work". (See - politics were no better back in the day either.)

But now the royal family is in trouble. The princess has drawn the shortest straw and will be the next sacrifice! What to do?

Oh crap! Here comes the dragon! Shrieking, horror, mass panic!

But who is this? It's Michael, come to slay (or at this school "tame") the dragon! (Personally, I think the dragon needs to put up a bigger fight. More drama, more action!)

And Michael leads the dragon off. All is well in the kingdom again.

The End.

Well not really. There are several pieces missing. There were other grades who were the meteors and other parts of the cast plus the cute little gnomes didn't get into the photos either. Next year I'll take pictures and Dave can wrangle the wiggly boy-child.

After the play the older grades created an obstacle course for the younger grades. They had to go through a "howling tunnel" made by the older kids, ride a "galloping steed" (8th grader) and climb up and down different pieces of playground equipment. There was, of course, treasure of some variety at the end. Neither girl has reported to me what is was, which makes me think it either wasn't that cool or edible. In any case, a fun time was had by all and the rain held itself to a sprinkle during the play and games. Happy Michaelmas!

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