Happy First of May!
The picture above is a May Pole Dance. Traditionally done on the first of May. What a nice thing. Dancing, music, colourful banners, costumes, adorable children all heralding the end of winter and the beginning of Spring. Almost as nice a tradition as May Baskets!
If you are unfamiliar with the concept. It's pretty flowers put in baskets, or jars or papercones and hung on people's doors. Usually other people's and usually in secret. A perfect project for these days of Social Distancing. Doing a nice thing without any actual social contact at all.
Sorry those pictures are so teensy. I cannot seem to make them any bigger. The point is When was the last time you decorated someone's front door in secret on the First of May? Or had your door decorated? Or even saw someone else do it?
It's been a really long time for me.
Actually come to think of it I never danced in a Maypole dance although I think my sister did at least once. I'm sitting here laughing over the idea of me dancing in a Maypole dance. That poor thing would be so knotted up. There would be kids crying and needing bandaids, scuffed shoes, scraped knees and well, it just wouldn't be pretty.
But I do remember making May Baskets and hanging them, in secret, on neighbors doors. Giggling like mad the entire time and I'm certain that we weren't quiet about it at all. But we had such a good time doing it and whether the results were as pretty as I remember or not (probably not) the intent was kind and well-received.
Why don't we do that anymore?
Or if not me...why don't other people do that? Or helping their kiddos to do that? It was so charming. The May Baskets I mean. The May Pole Dance is tricky and not for everyone.
I suppose I get it in places that don't actually have a lot of flowers growing yet. In Colorado it might have still been snowing on most May 1st's. In Connecticut it might have gone either way, either gorgeous or a blizzard. But here? There are flowers freakin' everywhere I look! I could snip flowers out of my own yard and make a pretty basket to hang on someone's door.
And yet I have not. Well Shame On ME! Maybe that is something that I will work on this morning. I will cut some flowers, fill a paper cone, string it with ribbon, and tippytoe over to my neighbor's house and hang it on her door. Awesome! What a great idea!
Well I hope I've inspired you. If nothing else you could make a May Basket and hang it on your own door! Or not. Up to you.
I just think that it's kind of a shame to let all of those old charming traditions disappear. It's up to us to keep the magic alive, after all.
If I asked any random person on the street what the words May Day brought to mind, I wonder if they would think May Pole Dancing, May Day Baskets or the alarming emergency panic words yelled into a radio by a pilot. Sigh. And how on earth did that happen?
Well I looked it up. May Day as spoken by a pilot in distress was chosen specifically due to it's similarity to the french words "m'aider" which means 'Help me'. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual first of the month of May. It was just an unhappy accident.
March and April were rough months for us all, my friends. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to celebrate a brand new month. Hopefully May will bring better things for us all. And for that reason along, I'm making at least one May Basket today.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.