I awoke this morning to a sweet message from a friend, wishing me a Happy May Day. A few years ago, she and I were exchanging stories about how as little girls we each had hung handmade paper baskets with small bouquets of fresh flowers and sweet treats on the doors of our friends and neighbors, as was the tradition on May Day. We agreed we would revive the tradition together the following year. Sadly, neither of us thought about it in advance, so it never happened; however, to this day, we send thoughtful wishes to each other on May 1. Happy May Day!
In honor of my friend's message this morning, which left me smiling all day, and wondering why so few still celebrate May Day, I decided to find out more about its significance, given that as a child, its only significance was the joy of sharing gifts with those I loved. As it turns out, the ancient spring festival of May Day is an astronomical holiday, as May 1 falls roughly equally between the March equinox and June solstice.
As it turns out, I find myself feeling quite in the middle of things these days. l'm considering embarking on a few new enterprises I've been researching. I'm moving onto the Board of an organization I love, and considering letting go of a volunteer activity I have cherished for several years. I find myself quite in the middle of the road regarding my political views, as well as regarding how to best address the issues we all face.
Being in the middle of so many things at once often makes my head spin, and can cause me to become a bit paralyzed. While there is much to be done regarding each of the paths I am on, finding myself in the middle of many divergent, yet sometimes connected, often criss-crossing life journeys can cause me to become so muddled that I simply stop everything and do nothing.
While doing nothing may seem like a waste of my precious resources of time and energy, sometimes it is the only solution, as I simply cannot decide to which of my endeavors I will devote those resources. When I find myself in this situation, I try not to expend my extra time and energy on mundane tasks, but rather, to let myself linger in the moment, to allow me to find my way back to my life's work, whatever it may be. This freeing of my mind, body and spirit usually helps me resolve where to begin again, and to move from the middle of it all toward my ultimate purpose.
What is the significance of May Day? It is a day in the middle, a day to linger, and to find peace in the middle of life, in order to go forward again. Why not celebrate it by giving someone you care about a small gift, like spring flowers, to bring joy to them and to you?
Happy May Day!
author of "JOY"