"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Day


For the last half hour a bright golden sphere has kept me company here, climbing above the distant hills and burning away shadows. As it slowly moves upward, playing a game of peek through the thick branches of our bordering firs, our eyes meet from time to time. I feel promise and playfulness as though the sun were as young as this season.

It's May Day. Distant childhood memories surface: dancing around a maypole as an elementary class activity, and pretending I was a young maiden of olden times; making paper flowers that would become Mothers' Day gifts, hoping beyond hope that this gift would bring light to Mom's eyes; based on a story from her childhood, gathering tiny bouquets of wildflowers, and dropping them on the front steps of our closest neighbors, thrilled to share an ancient tradition with her.

I'm aware of warm softness around the edges of pictures that used to surface coated in icy fog. I love the little girl trying so hard to be or do something that would make her Queen of May in her mother's eyes. I love the mother believing the only way to keep her daughter safe was to turn her into a meek, obedient and silent wraith - exactly the mother's chosen survival cloak in her own sad childhood, and exactly the opposite of her daughter's nature.

In my North Idaho childhood, spring didn't really arrive until May. This year, in my Pacific Northwest adulthood, that seems to be true as well. In this moment as I sit in the still and birthing glow of this new day, for the first time in weeks I feel light in every sense of the word.

Today we're going to Catherine Creek for our annual wildflower pilgrimage. While I hope for glorious surprises, I'm also happy to the point of tears anticipating the certainties of the day. The sun will keep us company for hours ahead. The air will be soft and alive. The sky will beckon with blues that seem new each spring.

Walt and I will be our best connection for the greatness and grace of the day, and for whatever might create shadows.

Breath comes easier. Worries lose their sting. The world feels fresh, new, and full of promise. The sun has that much power, May's gift to us all on her birthday.

Shooting Stars from last year's Catherine Creek pilgrimage.

22 comments:

Desiree said...

Another beautiful offering, Deb accompanied by two splendid pictures. The first, especially captivating not only in and of itself but made more enchanting by your words. I hope your May Day outing has proven itself to be everything you imagined and hoped it would be!

Linda Hoye said...

Enjoy your day, Deb. It sounds like the perfect way to spend May Day.

Wanda said...

Happy May Day, my friend. I plan to be outside as much as I can...tending the estate. HA!

LauraX said...

Happy May Day Deb..I love this line:
"Breath comes easier. Worries lose their sting. The world feels fresh, new, and full of promise."

Retired English Teacher said...

This was a beautiful tribute to May Day and to the eternal hope that spring brings to us. I love that you are searching for wild flowers on this day.

yaya said...

What a peaceful post Deb..I love the pic, it reminds me of our Pines on a sunny day. That's something we haven't had in a bit, but it is warmer today. Hope you found many beautiful flowers. When my boys were little they would put flowers on my neighbors doorstep every May day. Fun memories!

Out of My Mind said...

I wish more people celebrated May day the way you do.
It is such a beautiful tradition, but I am sad to say one that was not practiced by my family. I didn't feel robbed until I read your post. Your words showed me a world that I never got to experience, until now. For a brief moment I was there and I thank you.....kt

DJan said...

What a lovely post for a day that is filled with the promise of more soft and gentle days to come.

Sandi said...

What a beautiful post. I love reading your thoughts. It's like poetry, the way you describe the simplest things. May Day has always been meaningful for me, too. It's just a perfect little holiday, celebrating spring, and caring about someone. I remember dancing around the May pole (which was a tetherball pole at our school). When did kids stop doing that, I wonder?
I'm sure you and Walt had a wonderful day. Love you!

#1Nana said...

Since I retired I don't pay attention to the calendar and didn't even realize it was May Day until I read your post. Darn, I should have done something flowery with the granddaughters. I left budding spring behind me in eastern Oregon and jumped right in to summer in Texas. Although it was overcast today, it was in the 80s and wildflowers are still blooming. Happy May Day!

deborahjbarker said...

A new season can do many things and Spring is perhaps the most inspiring of them all. What a lovely post Deb. As usual your words make me feel rested and whole. (If but for a short time!)

Donna said...

You wrrite so beautifully it puts me in a sweet state of mind!
Our spring is behind this year too but things are greening up and the flowers are coming out nonetheless.
My mother used to tell of making cones to hang on loved ones doors as a child and filling them with flowers then knocking and running. I loved that and taught my kids the same thing. I need to do that for a few special people now. It brings a smile. I guess it doesn't have to be May Day to do that!:-)

Katie Gates said...

Beautiful post, Deb. I hope your wildflower pilgrimage was as full of splendor as your writing.

kario said...

I love the outings you and Walt have that celebrate the splendor of nature. Thank you for writing of this and acknowledging May Day. Our weather was glorious as well and it was such a terrific way to break into Spring (although the rain has returned as I write this).

Lavi said...

I think your May Day is very far from our former socialist holiday. The photos are beautiful and your memories made me smile. I hope you had a lovely time out.

Pam said...

Levi's comment saved me from feeling the odd one out in not relating May Day to its Celtic origins. Here in Australia it is very much tied to early anarchist and socialist political activities and workers in this country in the 1800's lobbying for the eight-hour working day,a cause then taken up by the rest of the industrial world.
I like your prettier post much better, though I am still very grateful for the 8 hour working day! Have fun gathering your wildflowers Deb!

Out of My Mind said...

I AM PUTTING THIS MESSAGE ON EVERYONE'S COMMNT PAGE:

I pride myself on trying to visit everyone I follow as often as possible. I enjoy all of you so much and have deliberately surrounded myself with the type of up-beat, happy bloggers as possible.

However, recently I have taken in my 32 year old granddaughter and her two children. It has been such a monumental change for me I am finding it hard to keep up my blogging, and my visiting.

I hate to admit it but there have been some difficulties with adjustments (on both sides) and I find that I just don't have the time to do the things I want to do. I also seem to be letting it get me down.

Just give me some time and I will be back on my game soon....I'm sure......kt

She Writes said...

YAY for May, and wildflowers, and breathing easier in new seasons.

Janna Qualman said...

Beautiful. What sincere appreciation you share.

Terry said...

I've been following your blog and can really relate, so much so that I was inspired to start mine, you can catch up with me at: http://alittlebitabouteverything-teri.blogspot.com/.

Terry

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

Inspiring! Your childhood memories send out warmth to the hearts of your readers.
Indeed, it's a beautiful spring full of promises.

Terri Tiffany said...

I hope your day out was wonderful- it sounds so sweet that you and your husband take these journeys together into the woods.