As our school community gets ready to celebrate Michaelmas, one of our parents, Michael Givens, was inspired to write this lyric piece which invites us all to reflect deeply on this festival and the meaning it can bring to our thoughts and actions.  

Heeding the Call of Michaelmas

By Michael Givens, L.Ac.

Just after the autumnal equinox, when the cycles of light and dark graciously pass by each other, the Earth calls her children to return to her being, to follow the light’s journey into the darkness. The petals, and then fruit, then seeds fall back to their mother, and the outer world begins its colorful celebration of the dance of light and dark: a celebration of the shimmering, glistening light of summer evenings, that lures us all the way to the summer’s starry night; a celebration of the heavy, pressing dark that weighs down our thoughts with practical necessities, and keeps us in fear of straying too far into the deep darkness of night.  Just as, when the outer light expanded to its extreme – when, in summer’s heights, we shuddered as we came to find its inner, hidden darkness, so to from autumn toward winter’s darkest night, we awaken, as the sense world all around reflects only death, to the memory: we are born from out of all that is hidden by this death; the inner light of the world was given to us, just as the outer light of the world gives of itself in autumn, heeding the call of the Earth mother.

Just after the autumnal equinox, together, each of us is called upon by the countenance of the light, the stern face of iron necessity – necessity, not of the physical needs of the body – but of the eternal striving of the human soul toward a truly beautiful and good deed: we are called upon by cosmic wisdom to carry our own light, and to share it with those whose needs we can feel, as we feel our own beating hearts and breathing lungs, that we may unite with all that in death becomes life.

Just after the autumnal equinox, by our own times, we are called upon to face the dragon of light and dark: electric, alluring, streaming, illusory images not of our own creation; magnetic, fearful, violent, dark impulses not of our own choosing.

We are called upon to intensely illuminate – to break down and digest – to see all that we are taking within.  We are called upon to radically be human beings in service of each other, and of the Earth, our mother, and her children.  We are called upon to overcome the dragon within our own thinking and doing.  We are called upon to attentively think willfully, to lovingly act thoughtfully.  We are called upon to feel and understand completely through our whole being: the warmth of light, the light of life, the life of all around us, even amidst the darkest night, so that our divinely inspired actions worthily re-enliven the world.

At this very moment, I am asked: Who am I that I can bring forth for the world in its time of need?