I love this pagan holiday so very much! A day to celebrate the richness of spring with the beauty of flowers, fertility of soil and of women. This, like most other pagan holidays, has become a western celebration as well. The May pole was danced around by young ladies well into the last century in every small community and you still see the custom in many earth based schools. Here you can read about original and more current celebrations of Beltane. My first May Day celebrated was a very special one. I was four or five and when I went out the front door that Beltane morning I found a handmade paper basket full of a spring flowers hanging on the door knob. Joseph, a boy in my pre-school class, lived about a block away and had shyly left the posy and gone back home with his mother. I still remember the glee I felt on receiving this gift, having no idea of the significance until my grandmother explained the tradition as we walked down the street, me with my first thank you note in my hand. Fast forward 25 years to a crisp Beltane day spent in Paris. Walking down the street with my husband and two friends I spied a florist with Sweet Violet posies in the window. Each with thick leaves surrounding the blossoms to create a kind of basket. I immediately thought of Joseph and my long ago delight. I certainly didn't wait for a boy to present me with this gift. I pulled out coins as the rest of my party wandered on. I didn't have enough money and couldn't catch any of my group's attention. I was getting a bit distraught as I looked at the bucket of posies wanting to celebrate the day and the place by carrying around a fragrant treat. Luckily the owner was feeling the pull of the day as well. She took the coins I had while presenting me with my special May Day gift, as well as a deep sigh and shake of the head. Today I shall pick a posy of various Daffodils, continuing the tradition. I may even make a little paper basket and put them on someone's door knob.
This May first I am also beginning a month of daily writing about plants. Do you listen to my weekly podcast? Last week I posited the idea of joining together to write on one subject throughout the month of May. I'll be writing about a different plant each day. I did this a year ago in April and loved all the inspiration it gave me throughout the rest of the year to create based on what was in my notebook. I didn't try to write within any constraints of genre. I set a calendar of healing plants for each day of the month, as I will this month. Then I just wrote what I felt. Somedays I was inspired with story or poetry. Somedays I wasn't feeling that creativity and wrote lists of uses and actions. All have been useful and all helped me to keep writing after the month ended. Not necessarily about plants, but to keep up with some kind of daily writing. Ideally I would spend at least 20 min every morning just writing about whatever pops into my mind. But that doesn't always happen. There are days when I am off to the races with ideas for classes or writing about the monthly tea packages I send out. But I am writing and it always inspires the rest of my day if I start off in this manner. This month I invite you to join me. What will your subject be? I'll post on Instragram with the hashtag #31daysWritinginMay and the plant I chose for that day. Today my writing will continue beyond this blog. I like to have a notebook and good pen for these types of explorations. I know others that write always on their computers and others that would never write without adding artwork to their page. What are your writing habits? If you don't have one why not start this month and just see how it feels. Miss a day or two? don't beat yourself up, just pick up your pen and start again. I'll be checking in here a bit more often and this month I'll write about other daily habits for feeling inspired.