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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

slaying dragons - Michaelmas 2015

That sounds like the name of a band or something, doesn't it? Dragon Slayers.

In any case. In the past several years we've enjoyed celebrating Michaelmas, the feast day of Saint Michael, celebrating the coming of fall, the end of the harvest season, and looking at the dragons we must battle as seasons in our lives change. (See this post, and the story below for more)

We have had some change lately. Not seasonal, mind you. It is the same 90+ degree weather we were having in an unusually warm early fall back in the Midwest. Actually, here too, the hottest season anyone can remember in 20 years. And, no AC in the average Hawaiian home. I sit in front of the fan, sweating, with iced tea as I type, kiddies plugged in to afternoon ipad turns.

Yes. Everything is changing. I have no kitchen to bake dragon bread this year. No wool to needle-felt a dragon for our nature table. No nature table. We are still in campus housing (think dorm style apartments) my patience for this situation is getting very very very thin. On good work days, where I go to meetings and talk about the exciting work to come, it seems worth it, just a couple of more weeks, really, and we will move into our rental house, and all will even out, and all will be well. And then days like today. Where a couple of weeks IS TOO LONG. The children are TOO NOISY. Husband is working TOO MUCH. Stressful calls come in. Real life bites me in the butt. And I implode. Falling in on myself in worry and stress and heat. Did I mention that I ridiculously hurt my foot - KICKING LAVA ROCK - last week? Then, I threw out my back - BENDING OVER AT THE BEACH. And, after a relaxing dip in the ocean - ACTUALLY GOT A DOUBLE EAR INFECTION FROM PUTTING MY HEAD UNDER THE WATER.

Things feel ridiculously difficult on days like today.


They are winning.

There is no slaying going on.

Am I the only one? I know I'm not. I know you are out there. Trying to do the new. Fighting the good fight. And some days, its too hard, too strange, too testy. You just want to run away, back to your little town where the leaves are turning colors and sweaters are coming out of storage and story time is every Friday at the library and life is predictable and even and manageable.

But Sara, you say, you live IN PARADISE. Remember the pretty flowers? The beach? THE PARADISE-Y SUNSETS? Yes, well, dragons exist here, even. They have a habit of following one around, despite one's locale. For me - IMPATIENCE, STRESS, WORRY - these guys love me. They seek me out, even in paradise.

So, we sit under the banyan tree at the coffee shop on campus. We draw our St. Michael and the Star Children story, then we retreat to fans and iced tea and ipads.

And really, one can only put one foot forward at a time. So, that is what you do. Aware of the heat and the struggle and the change. And as I feel it, so do my little people and I try to see them at it, to know that their crabby attitudes and squabbles are the same as my whining texts to dada. This is TOO HARD. So we eat popsicles and try to be more indulgent and go to the pool - again - and drink iced water and pray for rain tonight to cool down the room.

One foot. Then the other. Adapting to the new. Fighting the old. Moving forward.

This is the season of my life this year, no saddling up and charging out, blazing sword in hand. Trying to be faithful, even so, in the good fight.

Little man was drawing a diagram of a particularly gruesome battle in the history of the settlement of America and is therefore not in this photo set. Ha. 

The beach where I threw out my back and baby green succumbed to heat fever. 


Taking the belly to the beach. 

Michaelmas Story of the Star Children
by Corinne Batzell
Once upon a time there were beautiful children who lived in the stars. One by one each of these children took a long, long journey over a rainbow bridge and down to earth. They brought with them from the stars, seeds and bulbs and roots to plant in the earth to make it a good and beautiful place. They dug into the earth and planted their seeds and bulbs and roots. They watered them when they were dry and watched that no one stepped on the places where the seeds and bulbs and roots were planted. They made sure that the weeds didn’t push their way over, crowding the plants and blocking out the sun’s light. As the little shoots of green poked their noses out of the earth, the sun warmed them and the Start Children watched over them with loving care.

But there was a terrible dragon who roamed about the earth and one day he came to the garden where the Star Children had planted their seeds and bulbs and roots. The dragon didn’t like to see such beautiful things coming to the earth. He felt very angry and he began to breathe red flickering fire all around the garden. The little green stalks and shoots that were growing up so carefully and beautifully began to dry up and wither and turn yellow and brown. The Star Children did not know what to do. They were so very sad that these gifts which they had brought to the earth were being destroyed by the dragon.

Suddenly a golden light filled the garden. It was a knight in shining armour riding on a beautiful white horse. In his hand was a golden sword. It was St.
Michael. The knight charged at the dragon and fought with him until the dragon was so worn and weary that he fell at the knight’s feet and promised to be his servant.

St. Michael turned to the Star Children and smiled on them and on the garden. The plants began to grown new green leaves and shoots and the children ran to get water for them.

St. Michael gave to each Star Child a golden cloak. “These golden cloaks will protect you always so that you may work on the earth to help all growing things.” He said.

And the Star Children put on their golden cloaks and watched over their garden. The plants grew and there were flowers, and the flowers were just the shape of stars.


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