Happy May Day!
When I was a little girl, every May 1st my sister and I would decorate colorful pieces of construction paper, roll them up into a cone, and stuff them full of flowers. Then we would skip our way over to unsuspecting neighbors’ front doors, set the flowers down, ring the doorbell, and dash away in a fit of giggles. One of our favorite parts was to hide behind a set of bushes and watch the neighbor open the door, find the flowers, and look around in pleased confusion. How sneaky were we to bring such spring-filled joy to the neighborhood!
It’s been a long time since I’ve celebrated May Day. But this year, the conditions were perfect. I have a nearly four-year old daughter and a new set of neighbors. So last night I told my daughter about May Day and set her to work on decorating sheets of paper.
Let’s just say that the cone-making was not exactly as magical as I remember it—it mainly involved me begging and cajoling and demanding her to JUST MAKE SOME HAPPY MAY DAY CONES ALREADY!, but this morning was a new day. She dressed in her best “May Day outfit”, did her hair, and declared herself ready to deliver.
So we took her half-decorated pieces of paper, folded them into cones and stuffed them with flowers. Then we ran to our neighbors’ houses, ringing their doorbells and yes, running away in a fit of giggles. We didn’t wait to see them open the door; instead we just left our scraggly cones-full-of- joy on their doorsteps. When we finished, her face was flushed from the run and her toes were wet from the morning dew. After the neighbors, we even took a cone to my mom’s house, and this time we did hide behind some bushes to wait in anticipation for her to open the door. My daughter could barely contain her excitement, and so I’m honestly not sure who was happier – my mom, to receive the age-old tradition of May Day flowers; or my daughter, to be giving such sneaky spring-filled joy.
So, May Day. Is it a National Holiday? I guess not. But it’s a good reminder that really, every day can be May Day. Every day brings us the opportunity to offer some small gesture to someone else, for the simple purpose of bringing them a little bit of joy. And, even if some initial cajoling and begging is involved, that joy is a heck of a lot of fun to give.
How can you embrace the spirit of May Day?