Originally, the post I had planned for today was how to celebrate feasts and festivals without appropriating culture. That still may come. But I woke up this morning to the news of (yet another) mass shooting and, as a good friend of mine pointed out on Facebook, for the fifth time in my life saw headlines declaring it the deadliest mass shooting in modern history. And I wept.
Blessed Michaelmas! Technically, Michaelmas (or the Feast of St. Michael) is today, September 29. For us, it is also Nicholas’s birthday, so we will be celebrating Saturday. We’re not 100% certain what we’ll be doing, but some ideas include…
- Making a blackberry pie. Legend has it that you shouldn’t eat blackberries after Michaelmas because the devil spat on them when he was cast out of heaven. I’m not so sure about that, but blackberries are always yummy. Even on the keto diet, I can probably have some blackberries and clotted cream, or I could try low-carb blueberry cobbler (but with blackberries!) or low-carb berry cheesepie, which looks delicious.
We saw our first autumn leaves while walking to the bus stop this morning, and I thought of this traditional poem.
Yellow the bracken,
Golden the sheaves,
Rosy the apples,
Crimson the leaves.
Mist on the hillside,
Clouds grey and white.
Autumn, good morning!
Summer, good night!
I’ve mentioned before that I’m on a ketogenic diet to help control my seizures. It’s been almost 2 weeks now and it’s going pretty well. I dropped about 12 pounds already (most of which was probably water weight, but hey, I’ll take it!) and some inches as well, and most importantly? No seizures! There was one day where I had an aura, but my rescue meds worked.
It’s funny, because I don’t miss bread or pasta at all. What I do miss are the sweets– candy, pastries, cake, ice cream (there are some keto subs for this). I’ll have to do some experimenting. I had a bad experience with sugar-free candy in the past.
Calendar of the Soul
[September 16, 2017 – September 22, 2017]
There dims in damp autumnal air
The senses’ luring magic;
The light’s revealing radiance
Is dulled by hazy veils of mist.
In distances around me I can see
The autumn’s winter sleep;
The summer’s life has yielded
Itself into my keeping.
I looked out the hallway window this morning and was saw a shock of red among the green. Halfway through September, and the leaves are changing their color. The air smells different. It’s still hot, but it’s a different kind of hot than the heat of summertime. There’s an air of transition about.
Michaelmas, or the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, is coming soon! September 29, to be exact.
Michaelmas has always been tricky for us. It is both Nicholas’s birthday and Michael’s nameday, and each celebration has its own family traditions. It was hard to fit St. Michael in there as well! But it’s always felt like such an important holiday to mark and I’ve always struggled with not giving it due attention. This year, with my Michael gone off to college, it finally occurred to me– we don’t have to do it the same day as Nick’s birthday. We can do it the day before or the day after. The Waldorf police will not come and get us. And if they try, they won’t find us, because on Nick’s birthday we will be at a “slumber party screening” of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
This morning was one of those mornings I needed things to go right (as they usually do) and instead the Universe seemed as if it was conspiring against me to make everything go wrong.
As I’ve been thinking about this “sweet spot” where Waldorf, Montessori, and Reggio Emilia meet, I’ve been trying to pull out where exactly those intersectionalities occur. This is, undoubtedly, a partial list, but it’s what I am able to come up with in the noisy lobby of my kids’ arts school.
- The aesthetic. Let’s face it, this is the first thing people tend to notice about all three of these “lifestyles” (if there is such a thing). Natural materials, muted colors, an ethereal glow. Toys are often handmade with love and knowledge of the child and are imbued with meaning. Toys tend are beautiful, open-ended, and multi-purpose.