|photo by lenora via flickr|
She lived across the field, the field with the heifers and the grass the came up to my shoulders. The same field where we hunted leprechauns and dodged cow pies. Her farmhouse was white with red. Mine was cream with green. In the wintertime, our windows had icicles on the inside and our breath begged us to pretend we were smoking. In the summertime, we told secrets in our tree fort and walked barefoot atop the fence line.
But on May Day, we all at once, came alive.
Annabelle lived on the corner in a house that wasn’t really a farmhouse, even though a farmer lived in it. She made great cookies and knew how to hug. Her voice was gentle and buoyant, and tumbled out like invisible bubbles made to tickle your skin. She was spirited and happy and made me smile even before she answered the door. Maybe that’s part of the reason why she was always our first choice for sharing May Day baskets. That, and we knew she loved flowers.
So we wove our baskets out of paper and went to hunt for the prettiest. Sometimes we found them in my mama’s garden, sometimes in Sandy’s mama’s, but no matter where, we always had a special eye for the bluebells.
“Do you think Annabelle loves bluebells like we do?”
“Me, too. ’Specially since her name sounds somthin' like ‘bluebell’.”
“Wow, ya. Well then, of course she’d love ‘em like we do.”
“Does that mean I gotta like ‘sin’ since it sounds somethin’ like ‘Brynne’?”
“No silly. Sinnin’ ain’t pretty. People just gotta like things that sound like their name when they’re pretty. Like ‘grin’ for you and ‘dandy’ for me.”
“Phew. I was starting to worry.”
“Don’t worry. Just pick. The flowers need us as much as we need them.”
“Ok. Happy May Day, Dandy-Sandy.”
“Happy May Day to you, too, Grin-Brynne.”
And we went back to pickin’. With fresh smiles.
* * *
It’s the first of May. May Day. The day of year, in my world, where we share the gift of flowers. Not bought. But hand picked. Out of garden. From a field. On the side of the road. Or near an empty lot. It’s a day to see the beauty of a blossom and to share that joy with another. A day to feel the promise of warmer, prettier tomorrows, and a day to share that promise with someone else. It’s a day for you to pick some flowers and to share them, from your heart, with love.
Maybe with your Annabelle. Maybe with your best friend. Or maybe with a darkly dressed teen walking home from school, alone. Might you see a beggar, sitting hungry, outside the store? Could it be he that needs the beauty of a blossom the most? Has your neighbor forgotten the magic of Spring? Has your co-worker forgotten the promise of hope? Have you? Remember then. For them. For you. For all of us. Through the gift of a May Day flower.
|photo by anne0 via flickr|
Happy May Day, dear friend of mine.
A blue bell for your desk,
a sparkle for your day.