The spirit of Saint Michael calls us to act with freedom and with moral courage. The image of Saint Michael, with whom this festival is associated, reflects different qualities. He offers us courage, strength and balance. For courage, he is seen to protect us from the dragons of egoism, untruth and the tendency to be too materialistic. Instead we can call upon our inner strength to face our personal dragons, to show an interest in others, and offer a moral compass.
Saint Michael also inspires balance; he is often portrayed with a scale. How do we create balance in our lives? With our children, do we weigh the bright moments with the difficult ones? Do we find time to reflect each day and make space for digesting our experiences and finding quiet moments? The child absorbs our feelings: we need to care for ourselves so we can in return offer courage and soul care.
There is a feeling of deep love and community within our preschool classes and there has been much growth this term. Classes are having weekly walks and in these we see the beauty of spring blossoms in the forest and the results of the rains. We meet the child with reverence each day, no matter what. We thank you, dear parents, for your support. May the spirit of Saint Michael give you strength to overcome difficulties and see truth from illusion; to find balance; and to discern what is needed in each moment.
In the younger classes, the theme is one connected to the emergence of Spring and crafts are simpler – perhaps just a crown and card, or one item made by the teacher or child to reflects a Spring theme, whereas in Kindergarten children are hearing stories about the Spring princess and the dragon and will be making swords and doing more complex craft activities.
Firmly on the ground I stand,
Michael’s sword is in my hand.
When I conquer my fear,
And have the courage to find,
Michael’s light shines in my mind.
We have been knights on our horses in the forest for a week or two. We have been to the blacksmith to have our horses shod, and to make shields and swords. We saved Snowflake and the Spring princess from the dragon, and finally used our hand-made wooden shields and swords of light to tame the dragon in our own garden. This all culminated in a festival day where we unveiled our dragon and ate our dragon bread during an hour of feasting. We went home with our lovely crafts from the term – felt birds, woven placemats, felt baby dragons – satisfied that our dragons were tamed and that Saint Michael had won the day.
Brave and strong we will be.
Our good deeds set us free.
Our kind words make us strong.
We will fight for right.
We will conquer wrong.
Nanine Gaynor, Kindergarten teacher