St Michael and all Angels or Michaelmas Day is 29th September. As hubby and I had some “adventures” this year on that date, I am compiling them into, what I hope will be, an interesting and informative post for the following day.
Hubby needed to go to the local amenity tip (recycling centre). He had suggested that we set off by going there and then continue somewhere for a day out. I had only been home a few days after my recent trip (which as I mentioned on Twitter included travelling on 12 trains, 2 underground trains, 6 buses and in 2 cars twice each). I also had to attend a choir practice in the evening, so after taking all this into account (not that I said anything), he decided to go on his own and then for us to have a short trip out in the afternoon.
In the morning I was able to catch up on some cleaning and ironing. Over lunch I asked him what he needed to look for in the town we proposed to visit. He didn’t need anything, so I went on the train by myself for the items I had listed and a haircut. Meanwhile he made use of the good weather to do some gardening. Rain is forecast for later in the week.
On his way home from the tip, hubby took the shortest route along narrow country lanes. What he thought was a kestrel had flown out in front of the car and continued along the centre of the lane at 20-25 miles per hour just clearing the road surface with its wings for about 800 yards. It had seemed to be waiting for a car to come along and disturb the wildlife. At a fork in the road it flew over the hedge and perched on a post in the corner of the field. A conversation I had with our postman this morning (30 September) about birds has led me to update this post before its publication. He was amazed to have seen two swallows this morning. When I told him about the bird hubby had seen, he suggested it was a merlin as they are known to fly in that way. Hubby is now convinced that it was a female merlin. He had never knowingly seen a merlin before!
My afternoon out was not without incident. A friend was arriving back (with a trolley case) on the train I caught so we exchanged greetings. Another was on the station I arrived at, waiting for the next train home.
I saw a few more people I knew. One had time to spare for a walk and after I had done my errands and had my hair cut, I caught up with her again and we had a chat sitting on the bench, where I had found her.
Readers of my blogs have an advantage over my face-to-face friends as you can make your escape without seeming rude, if I go on too long! I told my friend about it being Michaelmas, which she hadn’t realised, although in the past she might have known. The reason I told her was because the preparations for Hallowe’en were nearly complete at the hairdresser’s. I had talked to the young lady, who cut my hair, about the day being Michaelmas (St Michael and all angels) and that St Michael was and is an angel. She seemed surprised. I said they were early for Hallowe’en as it is more than a month off. (It is October 31st, for any readers who might not have this information to hand). Her reply was, “We like to be organised”.
Coming back on the train I met another friend, who had also been on a journey recently, setting off later the same day as I had. I had experienced more reliable travel than he had. On my travels I had noticed pretty mauve flowers along the railway. It took me a little time to realise they were Michaelmas daisies – I do not often travel long distances at this time of year.
The connecting idea between the kestrel, the hairdresser’s with its bats and St Michael is, as you’ve probably guessed, wings. Angels are depicted with wings, although in the Bible there is little to suggest that they have wings. Only St Luke (Luke 2:9-20) records the angels (a great company of the heavenly host) appearing to the shepherds at Jesus’ birth. Their sudden appearance might suggest winged messengers. Angels are mostly portrayed as unexpected visitors. However in Revelation 14 St John describes angels flying in mid-air. Birds, insects and bats have wings, but helicopters fly too. (I am not poking fun, just looking at possibilities.) Seraphim and cherubim have wings. All the named angels are male: Gabriel, Michael, Uriel and Raphael. Have you seen an angel? The writer to the Hebrews indicates that an angel might be difficult to recognise.
Hebrews 13:2 (NIV) Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.