It's Michaelmas time! Time for harvesting apples and winter squash, time for the first frosts and the misty fall mornings. We celebrate the transformation of the season with our annual Michaelmas play and feast. It's also the 100th anniversary of the opening of the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Germany.  Waldorf Schools across the world have been asking themselves about transformation; about what is needed for us to thrive for the next hundred years. Just as Michaelmas asks us to transform our mindset from summer to fall, so are Waldorf Schools asking what mindset is needed for long term health of our schools. 

What does transformation mean in the modern era? It's a word we often don't use in favor of the word "upgrade." We can upgrade many things in our lives: our membership status at the gym, our internet package, our cars and phones. Upgrade encourages us to look outward and upward. Transformation, on the other hand, invites us to look inward, to the bedrock on which our sense of identity is created. I was hiking this weekend with a geologist friend and we stopped to admire a rock with incredible folding. "It's hard to imagine the conditions of temperature and pressure under which this happens," she commented. It was mind bending to consider. Then again, transformation happens because of pressure. We are constantly asked to shift and change to meet the world outside of ourselves. The balance is in not losing ourselves in the pressure, but in reforming and adapting to meet it. 

As individuals, the fiery energy of Michaelmas time invites us to face the dragon, however it may manifest in our lives. As Waldorf schools, we look inward at this anniversary to see what pedagogy serves and strengthens us, and how we can grow as institutions to be spaces of social inclusion, personal growth, and community strength. The pressures are great, and the challenges enormous for all of us, but in that transformation new forms emerge. New ways of being in the world can come out of our struggle to change. We celebrate Michaelmas every year. Every year there are ways for us to adapt, to shift and buckle and reform. We recrystallize. 

Come join us for our Michaelmas Celebration at 11:30 on Friday, September 27.  The grades classes will be enacting a brief play of the classic legend of Saint George and the Dragon, a story about transforming fear into action, iron into a sword of courage, and about recognizing and confronting the dragon, in whatever form it manifests in our lives.  After the play, a harvest feast will be served out back, with soup, bread, and apple cider and crisp for all.  Bring you family and friends and your plates, bowls, utensils, and blankets or chairs to sit on. More details to come next week. 

Submitted by Clare Stansberry, Grade 3 teacher


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