Michaelmas is a festive occasion to mark the last of summer’s warmth and to celebrate new beginnings. The meaning of the festival year can be understood on a deeper and more significant level if we are able to view the whole of the earth as a living organism, a concept which was much more alive for humanity in ages past.
The image of St. Michael with his golden sword piercing the darkness wells up in us, giving us the courage to face the darkening earth. With autumn, the earth draws into herself, and we also begin to draw into ourselves. Winter is the season of inner contemplation. When we look within ourselves, who knows what dragons we will find? The struggle of St. George and the dragon is also a powerful image at Michaelmas. There is not only courage needed to deal with the outer cold and darkness, but also within ourselves courage is called upon to shine light on those personal challenges we face as socially and morally-maturing human beings. To honor this time of year, the grade school children perform a Michaelmas play and family and friends gather afterwards for a picnic lunch.