It's the day of celebrating all the sensual pleasures of nature, and welcoming the approach of Summer. There's ritual theatre in places like Edinburgh for the pagan holiday Beltane, that show the roots of this ancient tradition among the country folk. In the words of author Vicki Noble, May Pole dance, May Queens, and May Baskets filled with flowers and treats that the kids used to distribute around the neighborhood were all signifiers of Mother Earth's voluptuous gifts. True to the season of tactile Taurus, the Beltane parties go primal, with rituals of sexual ecstasy. It's the idea that to Mother Nature, all of life's pleasures are her rituals.
May 1st is also International Workers Day, to recognize those who took great risks in the US to secure the 8-hour work day. In Hungary, where my husband comes from, there are parades with tractors and other tools of life's work. It's time to feast and relax, and enjoy the fruits of one's labor. How important that is today, with the questioning of what has value, and how earth resources are managed. Writes Noble, Like ground water in spring, the power of the people is rising. She suggests taking the day off, or bringing flowers to work.
At May Day, we remember that we're working for a living, not living to work. And that the deep enjoyment of life is what makes it worth living. You might celebrate May Day with fresh flowers, erotic massage, dining al fresco, putting a flower in your hair, buying some Oxygen producing house plants or walking barefoot. What seasonal delight did you enjoy as a kid...a popsickle? Treat yourself to some diversion today....something that reminds you that life is good.
"To come across warblers in early May, is to forget time and death." Theodore Roethke. Thanks to Moira Collins of Kiddiegram for sending that perfect May Day quote.