Autumn brings shorter days, longer nights, colder temperatures, falling leaves, and mountain mists. Some people feel sentimental during the season, some are energized by the brisk coolness, and some feel a sense of foreboding as the days shorten. The long summer days have shortened week by week so that by the Autumn Equinox (September 22), daylight hours match those of dark. And moving toward the Winter Solstice (the shortest daylight of the year), the hours of darkness stretch longer still.
I have often noticed that when we move toward a destination, the excitement and anxiety of reaching that destination sometimes outmatches the feeling of when we actually arrive. I wrote these lines in a poem once:
The darkest night of the year
Is never as dark as
Along with swollen pumpkins, ripe corn, and yummy squash, autumn can bring a sense of anxiety as we find each day a little less light than the one before. This outward darkening can be reflected within our souls. At this time of year, we even celebrate the demons and ghosts that might haunt us, and recognize those who have died.
Courage is required to face such things with honesty. The images of dragon-slaying and facing our fears with courage during this season are offered by several traditional cultures. St. Michael facing the dragon is one such image, and the autumn festival of Michaelmas is recognized in many Waldorf schools at this time of year.
The students at Mountain Song Community School recognized Michaelmas during the September 28 assembly in a play presented by Ms. Kathrine Smith’s second grade, Ms. Nancy Carson’s fifth grade, and Mr. Jesse Rochette’s seventh grade.
In addition, on Monday, October 1, all students in grades 1-7 took on the challenge of a great obstacle course designed by Mr. Dan Cordova’s eighth grade and Movement and Games teacher, Mrs. Laura Hassell. To complete the obstacle course, students had to challenge themselves to perform feats of strength, balance, skill, concentration, and courage.
To top it all off, the Festivals Committee of the Parent Council hosted the heart-warming and soul-filling Pumpkins, Soup, and Stories event for the larger community on Saturday, October 6. Warmest thanks go to the Festivals Committee for nourishing our community in this way!
We are proud to have so many brave, courageous, and warm-hearted students and families at Mountain Song. The word “courage” has its roots in the Latin “cor,” which means heart. We love the incredible hearts of the children and community at Mountain Song.