May is such a happy, beautiful time of the year. Across the South, there are bright colors to be found in those shrubs and trees that have been dormant all winter. It is a wonderful time of year to be outdoors and enjoy God’s Creation. Those birds I feed all year seem to be singing louder each morning just before the crack of dawn.
Celebrated in many countries
May Day is a time of celebration and parades in many countries. One year during my elementary school days, some of the teachers decided to have a special day for the students. The girls wore white dresses and butterfly wings that were wire shapes covered with brightly colored crepe paper. We held colorful ribbons that were attached to a tall pole and went round and round the pole which we learned was a “maypole”.
Another rite of Spring in the South is the Decoration Days observed at some country churches. This is the time to place floral arrangements on the graves of those relatives who have preceded us. After decorating the graves, there is a period of gathering in the church to sing hymns which most of us know by memory.
Dinner on the grounds
Following the singing there is a break for dinner on the ground. My Aunt has improved on this. She invites family members to bring their baskets laden with delicious food to her home. Of course, she has cooked enough food to feed all of us. This is a reunion type atmosphere while we try to catch up on what is going on in the lives of those whom we haven’t seen since the previous May.
Different May Day
There is another Mayday (one word) which is not to be confused with May Day. While the May Day I have described above is a time of joy and celebration, Mayday is the opposite. It is an international radio signal for a ship or airplane that is in distress.
Fortunately I have not experienced that Mayday. The closest I have been to this type distress was during a cruise last Fall. We were in turbulent weather that was rough enough to flip a grand piano in one of the ship’s theaters. During breakfast, it sounded as though every pot and pan in the galley hit the floor. We definitely didn’t want to see the movie “Titanic”! I’ll take a good old May Day celebration anytime!