Since I wrote about April a month ago, now I should pen a few words about May in casr she feels left out. We are lacking in maypoles around here so dancing is not possible. Just as well as I am sure I’d look like an idiot and get everyone tangled up in those long ribbons atached to the pole.
In out family, May was aways associated with celebrations which were mainly birthdays. I have a garndson and a grandadaughter with birthdays. My mother was also a May child and one of my sisters-in-law shared her date. Then Mum’s birthday was aways near Mother’s Day and sometimes they coiincided. When she was alive I usually gave her two gifts. My sister’s birthday was May a few days beore mine. And to complete the picture, my paternal grandmother had a birthday at the end of the month.
In the old days when the family was able to assemble in one place, we ran all these days into a single Mayfest which could be celebrated on the Victoria Day weekend. Then my daughter-inlaw’s father had a birthday at the beginning of June so he joined the party. Not much chance of a party this year but I guess we could draw lots and 5 of us could congregate as a token gesture. The Mayfest was always fun organised in a back yard wwith a barbecue, followed by cake and candles for blowing out. Strange now, to think it was an accepted practice for a group of peoplle to huff and puff over their food before eating it. When will it feel safe to blow out a candle?
May was not just for birthdays. My parents were mrried in that month so it was special for them. I used to tell my mother that since she was born in May, married in May and bore her two kids in May, she should complete the circle by dying in May. But Mum was always independent and died in August. Dad was mor obedient and we did lose him in May. This made ceebrating the happier milestones more difficult for Mum and the rest of us.
Of course May is known for other things. In the days when I lived in a house, that was when I started my garden. I held with the old idea that vegetables such as tomatoes should not be put into the ground before the long weekend. There was always the danger of frost up to then.I used to enjoy an orgy of plant shopping and then wreck my back by spending hours planting them. Looking at lighter clothes is a May activity too. If you have packed away your shorts and tops, then this is the time to get them out and put away the winter stuff. That cheers me up every time. I used to keep the kids’ snowsuits out until after fireworks night on the Victori a weekend as some years it was very chilly.
So May is basically a cheerful month even though I will not be together with my family. i will have to rely on getting outside in the sun to give me the necesaary happy feeling.