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My wife and I celebrated Michaelmas today.

I had never celebrated Michaelmas before. What a delight! Our celebration was simple — a roast Cornish game hen, blackberry tarts, an iTunes playlist about Michael and angels, a prayer of thanks for Michael and his role in our lives. A celebration based in no received tradition, but something researched nearly at the last minute.

But despite the simplicity and artificiality of our celebration, it felt profound to me in a way I would never have expected. Of course, there is always profound reason to be grateful for Saint Michael. But I feel as though this time of year is a deeply natural time for celebration.

Perhaps it’s because today was the first day I really noticed the coming dark of winter. The days have quite obviously been shortening lately, but not until today did I feel they were growing dark. They had seemed merely less bright. Today, however, my awareness of our shift into the dark half of the year began. Taking a moment to ponder that shift today was good timing.

The meal my wife prepared was a perfect marriage to the season: a blend of the wintry flavor of allspice-seasoned poultry and the summery flavor of berries and cream. A wonderful between-time meal.

Already I look forward to next Michaelmas and improving our celebration of it.

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