Michaelmas Plans

Dragon drawing from
Dragon drawing from

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.
  • A roast goose. OK, I have no access to a roast goose, so a roast chicken will have to do.
  • Today will also be the day we empty our container gardens and put the containers away until next spring.
  • Perhaps we’ll make window stars if we have time. If I don’t have time to make them with the children, I may make some of my own.
  • Another craft idea is to collect autumn leaves of different colors and use them to create a collage picture of Michael and the dragon. I couldn’t find a picture of exactly what I wanted, but here is a video and here is a page with assorted leaf collage animals that hopefully give you an idea of what I mean.
  • And maybe a fire in the fire pit to end the day.

I thought about different things I could buy, but decided that I didn’t want to make this yet another commercial consumerist celebration. This idea was cemented as I read the section called The Meaning of Harvest Thanksgiving in the Book of Feasts and Seasons by Joanna Bogle. It’s an out-of-print book, but has some lovely ideas for celebrating the seasons, feasts, and festivals. She writes

Michaelmas could be a time when we think seriously about how we are using the rich natural resources over which we have dominion. We could examine our own consciences in matters like dropping litter, and parking cars thoughtlessly at beauty-spots, and filling the air with noise… There is also the question of providing enough food for everyone in the world… Some of us waste food, eat too much, throw it away, or even let it rot while others starve!… Michaelmas is an obvious time for making a family charitable donation to some group which is doing practical work to help the hungry.