Last night we celebrated Michaelmas (the feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael) for the first time! There are so many different ways to celebrate it, and I had a hard time choosing. A friend of mine from our parish did a bonfire on the beach a couple of years ago, so we teamed up together this year to recreate it.
We reserved a fire pit on the beach, and the weather yesterday was absolutely ideal. As we drove up, I rolled down the windows and enjoyed the 78-degree sunshine and the few leaves that were starting to turn. A few blocks from the beach, though, a cold burst of wind started blowing, a layer of cloud settled over the lake, and the temperature dropped about 20 degrees in 15 minutes. While I would have preferred one last warm evening on the beach, you can't deny the appropriateness of such a drastic shift on a night when you're celebrating the changing seasons, among other things.
Each child received a cape of light, which I made the day before by dyeing white silk scarves with turmeric (I followed the instructions here). The capes are symbolic of the courage and strength needed to stand up and fight against evil. All of the kids in our group are under 7, so we didn't say much else about them - just tied the capes on and let them run around. It was great. Then we gathered around our bonfire and said the St. Michael prayer together, which I printed out on quarter sheets using this lovely download from Kendra.
We had such a wonderful time around the fire, enjoying each other, talking and eating s'mores. It was one of those rare, sweet times when I feel like I am living just the life I want to, and giving Anne exactly the childhood I dream for her.
St. Michael? Are you on your way to help?