Today is May Day! If you have Celtic ancestors, they would have called it Beltaine. It is a time to celebrate the rich fertile fecundity of the Earth.
In May, everything starts to get so green and lush. Flowers burst into bloom. Trees wake up from their long winter’s sleep. Birds sing. Animals (and humans) mate. And, it is hoped, the crops will flourish. It is a time of unabashed joy and celebration.
Spring in the high desert where I now live is ever so much more subtle. I tell you I celebrate every tiny bit of green that I see! Being an East Coast girl, I am used to feeling incredible joy every time I venture outside at this time of year. Whereas here I can certainly celebrate the warm days and the singing of the birds, but I have to shift my expectations regarding the explosions of color and scent that those of you in most of the country are experiencing right now.
I have become a bit of a green detective out here. For instance, yesterday I noticed there is some green grass growing alongside the roads. And the few scrawny deciduous bushes scattered here and there have teensy tiny green leaves. There are a few willows with their lovely tinge of green. But the cottonwoods are still in their wintery state of undress and the cacti have yet to bloom.
Those of you who have not lived in the desert have little idea of what an unbelievable blessing rain is. You are so used to seeing streams of water gushing along the roads after a hard rain and driving past a multitude of creeks within a ten mile radius of your home.
Here, it is such a gift to find a stream or a lake or a spring. To hear the sound of flowing water is something that generally only happens when we turn on a faucet or shower. (And thank God for that!!!)
So, may I gently remind you when you are tempted to complain on the next rainy day, that water is something we NEED! We can only survive three to five days without water. We need water to drink, to bathe with, to water our gardens and crops with, to wash our dishes and clothes with, and to moisturize our skin. Sitting by a body of water can sometimes bring peace like nothing else. Sitting by a waterfall can elevate the spirit almost instantly. Sitting by an ocean is bliss. Water is medicine to our body and soul.
(And for those who have received so much water that they’re afraid of flooding, try to reframe from being angry at the rain. It is not the rain’s fault. Bless the rain and nicely ask it to visit the deserts and other drought-stricken places.)
So, CELEBRATE today! Celebrate the greening of the Earth! Celebrate this dear planet as she wakes up from her long winter’s nap and bursts into glorious color! Celebrate this natural world that gives us all that we need, for every single thing that we use comes from this Earth. Remember your ancient ancestors who did not take this abundant world for granted. Take a moment today and breathe in the good air, notice the beauty around you, feel the earth beneath your feet, smell the luscious scents, and maybe even… DANCE for the joy of it all!
Like the Earth, may you flower. May you create, may you be fertile, may you be juicy and ALIVE!
Blessed be, dear ones. Blessings do indeed abound.