Seattle Waldorf School grade 1 class teacher Andrew Gilligan spoke at our school assembly held in honor of Michaelmas, an annual festival of courage celebrated at Waldorf schools around the world each autumn. He delivered an answer to the question of what Michaelmas is.

Mr. Gilligan spoke to the many differences and difficulties we are experiencing this year—quiet campuses, a pandemic, fires and smoke, and racial and political turmoil—and how this time is similar to 100 years ago, when a great war and pandemic touched the world and the first Waldorf school was opening its doors.

2020 is a year in which we face danger and sickness, yet we are in the company of courageous people who run toward it with help and solutions—doctors, firefighters, voters, and even students. In this time, students are courageous. It can take courage to just show up at school each morning.

Like farmers, we must harvest and store our courage so it’s there when we need it later. May you carry the bounty of the summer sun into the cold and darkness of the coming winter. Happy Michaelmas!


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