Sweet May Day Salutations.
What’s not to like about a day where custom had you delivering baskets of flowers in secret to your friends and neighbors? I certainly wish I could sneak a little floral tribute to each one of you today.
The ancient Romans celebrated Flora, their goddess of flowers on this day. And May Day/Beltane has been long been celebrated as the cross-quarter holiday halfway between the equinox and the solstice. The emphasis is on fertility and abundance, and fire rituals are often used.
It’s also suggested that at this time the veil between the worlds is thin. But rather than having easier access to the ancestors as is true at the cross-quarter of Samhain, this is the time to peek into the faery world.
I’m welcoming faery energy this year, which is rather a new expression for me, so I’m paying particular attention today. My guiding goddess of the year (thanks Amy Palko!) is Aine. A Celtic goddess of summer, wealth and sovereignty, she is particularly associated with midsummer and the sun; and for some known as the Queen of Faeries. Need you wonder why sparkly magic is something I’m invoking?
I love this vintage image of a garden faery. I think it would be pretty fabulous to have a watering-can hat don’t you? Apparently we aren’t entirely reliant on April showers to bring us these beautiful May flowers.
I took a walk around the neighborhood this morning and things are greening up a beginning to flower, and the trees are budding with that beautiful luminous green that only Spring brings. May has arrived in full finery.
May Day also is celebrated as International Workers’ Day and I’m proud to be a member of a family that has worked hard to promote fair labor practices and workers’ rights. So today is a perfect day to support your local artists, your neighborhood florists, and all the workers of the world.
In lieu of being able to personally deliver a May basket of floral delights to you, I’ll leave you with a few garden-related treats to investigate.
- Earlier this year the Smithsonian had an exhibit on orchids, and here’s an overview with lovely photos. I especially point your attention to the wonderful specimen called Venus Slippers, which is also know as Fairy Slippers. One of my faves, and I know the faeries approve.
- I saw a big fat glorious bumblebee today and it made me inordinately happy. Here’s a peek at some bee closeups that are amazing.
- Time-lapse photography over an 8 month period shows an acorn become an oak.
- Rebecca Louise Law is a floral artist doing huge installations.
- I’ll be making Green Goddess Grilled Cheese Sandwiches tonight. Doesn’t that sound like a perfect way to celebrate all the green goodness of May Day?
What about you? Are you celebrating May Day? Wish you had some Faery Slippers? Seeing bumblebees where you’re at? Do tell – you know I love to hear.
Happy May Day! I used to love making baskets of flowers when I was little and leaving them on neighbors’ porches. I wonder if kids still do that? And the May Pole, too, of course…
I venture to say it’s an underutilized custom that I’d love to see revived. To my way of thinking more flowers is always a good thing.
You have such a beautiful website!
I love the link to the orchids. I was admiring them in the grocery store today. Beautiful nature. Beautiful us.
Thanks for the kind words Jessica. It’s fun to find relatively easy-to-care for orchids that don’t require greenhouse conditions. And yes – beautiful nature, and beautiful us. Love that!
I am overjoyed spring is here and am patiently waiting for my lilacs to bloom! Thank you for those links! I especially loved watching g the acorn time lapse! Happy May!
Happy May! Happy Spring! I’m waiting for my lilacs to bloom too Tracy, and the lilies-of-the-valley. Such beautiful scented fabulousity.
For some reason, Deborah, I’m surprised that you don’t already have a watering-can hat of your own. Get thee to a millinery!
Recently, my sis-in-law found a top-secret wild orchid blooming deep in the woods. She took a few of us on a trip there — after we vowed to stay silent as to the orchid’s whereabouts — and we all admired the small pink bloom growing unexpectedly from the forest floor.
We have other wild orchids growing in our yard. The flowers are tiny, white-green things, about the size of three cooked grains of rice per bloom, and the stalks are so small you could run them over if you weren’t looking. We were lucky to spot them (I owe that to my sweetheart’s eagle eye).
Oh goodness Harmony – a top-secret mission into the woods for orchid viewing! And minute wild orchids growing in your yard! We’ve moved beyond wonderful into the realm of fabulousity. Very fine indeed.