Originally posted May 1, 2018. Reposting
My Gram’s yard was an adventure for a little girl. I loved walking out the front door to see the walk way and the drive way lined with beautifully manicured roses. She was a rose gardener like I have never seen. She was particularly fond of her Mr. Lincoln rose bush and the beautiful orange colored Tropicana. The crab apple tree with its expansive limbs was perfect for climbing, the wisteria vine as big as a house, smoke bushes you could run through pretending it was fire, and back along the alley fence, tucked away behind the pines like a secret kept just for me on May Day, the lilacs. They smelled so sweet and they always knew that on the first of May they must bloom because they had an important job….to be beautiful. Gram and I walked out always holding hands, to those beautiful bushes and I would always get in a hurry and want to break off a few of the blooms, but she would’t allow that!! No way!!! Very carefully, she would tenderly cut each bloom with her floral cutters so as not to damage the stalk. “Be kind” she would say, “they are going to make a lot of people happy, they deserve your kindness.” She was so right!!
Back to the baskets I would go placing those beautiful flowers in each one, then we loaded up in the car! First stop was always Grandma and Carole Jean’s house!!! We pulled only up to the curb so I could make a fast get away! I ran up, hung it on the front door knob, rang the door bell and ran! I knew I could get there before either of them because Grandma was old and Carole Jean had crutches!! Next came Heidi. We drove down through the barn yard slowly and quietly and when we got to the circle drive, Gram faced the car toward the long drive out to the highway. She waited patiently as I hopped out, ran to the door, left it on the step, rang the bell and ran back!! “Hit it Gram!!! She’s gonna catch us!!” Breathing heavy I turned around to look back and I could see the door open and I know she saw us….Crap. Gram’s friends, Glenna and Venus were the next but I could beat them, they were old too! Then on to the drug store to just hand them to Daddy and Bop because they were working and then I took one to Mom. There were always others, but these are my favorite people.
As I have grown up and the years have flown passed, I still long for the First of May. That is the chance to renew your spirit, the earth awakens from winters curse, birds sing, things get beautiful again and you have the opportunity to renew your own hope. Th’ Gatherin’ was that celebration for me and my family. It was a huge milestone during the year to walk through the fire and celebrate quite literally survival. It is also when I remember those I love who have passed to the next life. My Gram is here this morning. She saying, “Let’s go Sister! Get on with the happy!” My Dad has been close for a few days, I swear I smelled his cigarette. I can hear my Bop’s wild laughter and cackle. I am never alone. The veil between this life and Heaven is gossamer thin. I just have to listen.
So, today, walk in the grass barefooted, find a lilac, breathe deep, say your gratitude prayer and maybe even build a May basket. Here’s to the coming of the Light Half of the year. Give a hug.
Love, Beltane, Light