Friday, September 30, 2011

Michaelmas Photos

Autumn Equinox

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Michaelmas season is my favorite time of year and I couldn't let it pass without some more photos.

The season started with the yellow flowers of September. The purple asters are called Michaelmas Daisies and I look for them (and find them) eve
rywhere this time of year. Rianna of These Days in French Life finds a color in each month and her September is the deep purple of grape and plum harvests. My September is the golden yellow and light of these flowers. My favorite colors in my favorite month.

The golden-rod is yellow
The corn is turning brown
The trees in the apple orchards
With fruit are bending down

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

Sedges flaunt their harvest
In every meadow nook
And asters by the brook-side
Make asters in the brook

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather
And autumn's best of cheer.
Helen Hunt Jackson

September is also the month of the Vaux's Swifts roosting at Chapman School in Northwest Portland. It is an amazing natural event made even more amazing by all the awesome Portlanders who show up to watch it every night. The tiny birds nest and rear young all over the are but come together to roost in a chimney at the school before heading out on their fall migration south. There can be over 10,000 birds flying into the chimney on any given night in September and hundreds of people gathered to watch. It is a September ritual for many people in Portland, including myself.

"It looks like pepper flying in the sky!" I overheard a little girl say. "No! It looks like a dragon," her brother insisted. I agree.

Speaking of dragons, I started a new Michaelmas tradition this year by baking a dragon bread. This is a common activity in Waldorf schools and families but it was my first year doing it. A bread dragon is an excellent, hands on way to symbolize both the vanquishing of a dragon and incorporating it's lessons into our selves, and also the harvest aspect of the season.

Fresh baked bread's a yummy treat
Made with love and warmth and wheat
knead the dough, then let it rise
and soon you'll have a big suprise.
From the water, flour and yeast
grows a golden, delicious beast.

I did get up for my Equinox sunrise ritual. It was a lovely, crisp morning at my fruit field. The mountain was visible and so was the old crescent moon. I found a pear to add to my dragon bread breakfast and watched the sun come up in a fiery orange blaze.

The autumn winds blow open the gate,
St. Michael for you we wait.
We follow you, show us the way,
With joy we greet this autumn day.
Good morning, good morning, good morning.

The silver rain, the shining sun,
the fields where scarlet poppies run,
the fallen leaves blow up and away,
with joy we greet this autumn day.
Good morning, good morning, good morning
Wynstones Press book Autumn (I believe)

Happy Michealmas!

In Autumn Saint Michael with sword and with shield,
Passes over meadow and orchard and field.
He's on the path to battle 'gainst darkness and strife,
He is the heavenly warrior protector of life.

The harvest let us gather with Michael's aid;
The light he sheddeth fails not nor does it fade
and when the corn is cut and the meadows are bare
We'll don Saint Michael's armour and onward we'll fare.

We are Saint Michael's warriors with strong heart and mind,
We forge our way through darkness Saint Michael to find.
And there he stands in glory, Saint Michael we pray,
Lead us into battle and show us thy way.

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Autumn Equinox 2009: The Autumnal Equinox and The Earth is Breathing its Soul Back In

Autumn Equinox 2010: Here Be Dragons and A Dragon Tale for Michaelmas

Autumn Equinox 2011:
Michaelmas Season

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