I remember from my childhood, a large story book with a story about children in a small community observing May Day. It's stuck in my mind (all these many years!). By the time May gets here, NORMALLY, the worst of the bad weather is past. The re-birthing of the earth has fully come, and we all take a long breath of relief. We're ready to move on. Here are some fun facts (your history lesson for this month!) about this first day of May:
May Day is a time to celebrate the onset of May. Since the ancient days in England there prevailed a custom of "bringing in the May" on MayDay. This was why people would go to the woods in the early dawn. There they picked flowers and lopped off tender branches to bring them in and decorate the houses. It has always been strongly associated with flowers; it may be because of their availability in abundance.
Making garland is one of those ancient May Day customs that has survived still today. May garlands, is meant for the coming of summer. May garlands were also used while begging by the kids from door to door. At other times of the year begging would have been an offence. But if it was done at May time with a garland. This is why groups of small girls, crowned with leaves and flowers, went from door to door singing and begging.
Part of the celebration was the crowning of a May Queen. When the sun rose, the maypole was decked with leaves, flowers and ribbons. The Queen was chosen from the pretty girls of the village to reign over the May Day festivities. Crowned on a flower-covered throne, she was drawn in a decorated cart by young men or her maids of honor to the village green. She would be crowned there right on the green spot. She was set in an arbor of flowers.
(Fess up: have any of you tried this?) Washing the face with May dew was yet another custom. There was a belief among the women in Great Britain and other parts of Europe those days that May Day dew has the power to restore beauty. This why in the Ozark Mountains, a cradle of American folklore, girls used to nurture a belief that having their faces washed with the early dawn dews on the May Day would help her to be married to the man of her choice. (Ah, if wishes came true!)
MORAL of this history lesson (smile): celebrate spring in YOUR way today. Are you creative? Enjoy today, then.
Here's the First Three of Ten Relaxation Tips
1. Relax. It beats anxiety, exhaustion, or a heart attack!
2. Carry a notebook with you. Jot down things that bother you. Make a list of chores needing done. Cross off each item as done. Write some happy thoughts. Develop a poem. Or write a letter.
3. Sleep! Get enough. Don't let two days go by without catching up. Nap when needed. Prepare your bedroom for sleep. Dab a tiny amount of lavender oil on your pillow, temples. Keep that notebook near. Place an eye pillow over your eyes. Turn the heat down. Listen to music, silence, leave a nightlight on, or close your eyes to total darkness.
What do you call a baby kangaroo?
A little madness in the Spring is wholesome even for the King.
-- Emily Dickinson