Beltane–May Day, May 1st–is the traditional fertility festival marking the beginning of summer.
Blissfully ignorant of fertility as children, we used to hang May baskets on the neighbors’ doorknobs (woven paper baskets full of wildflowers and wrapped candies) and ring the bell, then run away. Also, there’s the near-extinct Maypole dance with ribbons around the tetherball pole. Ah, the mysteries of youth. No one does too much of this any more, but if you’re celebrating the cross-quarter day, peace and blessings.
Our May Day morning has been stormy, but now a gentle rain pads down on all those flowers we potted up yesterday and the day before. Pots cover the front courtyard. We’ll see how well zinnias do in pots. (The stems get awfully tall, and last time I didn’t have a tall enough pot.) I even have a horsetail plant, having found one at last at our little corner nursery and orchid grower. The dog panicked around 3 AM because of the thunder, but it wasn’t a bad storm. Still, I had to get up and walk him around the house. He hates boom-boom. (Traumatized as a puppy when the hailstorm a couple of years ago broke the breakfast room windows when we were all sitting in there in the power-outage dark one night listening to the NOAA weather radio.)
But today’s a Rites of Spring storm. Good omen, I reckon.
The Pleiades (Seven Sisters) rise in the skies, and the tide of rebirth comes in as the plants start their summer growth cycle and all the nests fill up with baby birds and bunnies. Yesterday as we drove back from that little nursery, Mama insisted I pull over and let her examine some blooming bushes that surrounded the new Sleep Clinic on Alamo Road. I figured if the cops pulled up behind me, I could say, “I’m not casing the joint–this little old lady wanted to see what kind of roses these are.” At first we thought it was the Seven Sisters rose, a climbing rose vine, that had climbed up to the surface of regular ol’ bushes. But she returned to report that these were actual English hedge roses, as she’d seen in London forty years ago. We marveled at it, knowing that most bushes around here are either nandina, Japanese L-something, or Indian hawthorn (which also blooms pink, but not with huge roses like this.) Amazing that they were in Texas at all, let alone four feet tall and three feet wide! I don’t know how they got them to grow. I restrained her from “taking a cutting,” as I knew that the moment she whipped out the nippers and approached the building, Homeland Security would be called. We left with a promise that I’d find out where to get such things.
I’ve wanted to replace the bushes around the back of the house, anyhow.
Today the veils between the worlds are said to be thin, and otherworldly beings such as fairies, pookas, and benevolent spirits can often be seen. So keep one hand in reality and your stick on the ice–er–dirt, but go see what you can see. You may be pleasantly surprised.