Monday, May 01, 2006
MAY DAY 2006
I remember this day from my childhood as being almost as special as Christmas or Halloween or Easter. Every May 1st, students at the college where my parents worked put up beautifully decorated May Poles around campus, adorned them with colorful ribbons, and danced around them from early evening into the darkness of the night. The May Queen and her court got as much coverage in the college yearbook as the Homecoming Queen and her entourage; the college symphony held an outdoor concert and played waltzes while students wove their ribbons under and over one another as they circled around the pole. Flowers were placed all over the campus in honor of this rite of spring, and folks from all around the region came onto campus to celebrate as well. As a young girl, I journeyed to faraway places in my mind on this special occasion. One year, the May Queen placed a garland of white and pink flowers on my head; in my imagination, I became her princess. It was magical!
I now know and celebrate the day as Beltane--an acknowledgement of the union of the masculine and feminine within us all--a day to honor of all that is coming alive in Nature as we move into greater light, a day to witness the maternal care with which the Earth nurtures what we sow, literally and figuratively.
Today at the farm, Eliza and I confirmed that the hummingbirds have returned as they dive-bombed by us while we were eating our dinner outside. Later, on my walk, I listened to the conversations of the red-winged blackbirds, yellow warblers, brown thrashers, phoebes, and wrens in the field and woods. The trillium, mayapples, wild geraniums, wild mustard, and jack-in-the pulpits are in full bloom, and we've had our first spotting of one of our resident (huge!) blacksnakes in the back woods.
While the busy-ness of life in my daily routine diverts my attention on more occasions than I might want to admit, the Earth remains my constant, and the natural world unfolds to embrace me tenderly with its beauty and grace.
So tonight, on May Day, 2006, I again connect with feeling like a princess and give thanks for the serenade of the peepers in the distance while I compose at the computer.
Today, I am grateful for the sweet smell of the Russian olives, the beautiful green color of the back field, my bright yellow pansies, the pink bleeding hearts, and weather that is warm enough for me to go barefoot on my walk.
(Above: Art credit to Jennifer Hewiston / May, 2006 / Llewellyn's Witches Calendar 2006
Photo: Mayapple blossom-taken by yours truly)