As you know, April hath 30 days, and that means, since it's day 30, tonight is May Day Eve. In Celtic cross-quarter holidays, that means it's Beltane Eve. This is a good thing! Multiculturally, folks celebrated and still celebrate these seasonal cues wherever they live, because HEY! We're still alive! And if the communities are alive, the kids are growing and playing, and there's party food & grog about—despite the feudal overlords and their greedy demands—then thank the flora and fauna, the wind, rain, and bountiful soil, thank the gods and goddesses who play with our little fates, for another return of beautiful, warm, flowering life!
And to celebrate, honor and also not take this bounty for granted, maidens and children often danced around a festooned May Pole in a dance signifying the interconnectedness and flow of life. Back in the day (60s) my boarding school (then partly boarding, and all girls) in Providence, Rhode Island had a tradition of us wearing summery dresses and dancing around the May Pole over in the lacrosse field on Hope Street, before a strawberry and waffles breakfast. They probably don't do that anymore, but it looked kinda like the photo at left.
In April of 1970—in what I'd recognize later as my first shamanic initiation—I heard the clairaudient call from the helpers to head west to wilder things, live in the woods to help save the planet, and my Beltane celebrations looked more like this beloved illustration from a children's story.
One of my favorites, besides all the Pooh stories and poems, and the other animal ones like The Wind in the Willows, was Heidi. As a child, I identified with her wanting to leave the uptight aunt, strict city studies, and just live in the cabin in the mountains and roam around with animals. Then I did.
This morning, awaking after a long lucid flying dream, I realized that it was indeed Beltane Eve, and tomorrow May 1st! And as luck and the helpers would have it, I have no appointments, or scheduled tasks. AND it's beautiful out, after a long spring of cold cloudy rainy days. I have no ritualized enactments to perform, no social ceremonies or communal celebrations, so this one's on the natch, as we so quaintly said back then, when winging it in nature and going with the flow.
I think I'll do a little journey and ask if there's anything particular I'm to do, or any particular place I'm to go, today or tomorrow, to thank and honor the spirits of this wonderful island, who are def involved with shaping and guiding my life here. I've already noticed the stones and crystals in the workroom want a cleaning and shelf dusting, so I'll do that. Noticing, following, dreaming up, I'll flow into it all with the intent to observe this powerful connect time with all the spirits of place, and the wild beings living all around me, which kinda includes me, free ranging.
As a very little kid living on a little dead end street in Kenilworth, Illinois, I'd make the paper cones with paper handles with my sister, gather violets and lilies of the valley to fill them, hang them on neighbors' doorknobs, ring the doorbell, and run away. That's another traditional May Day thing, as kids pretend they are flower fairies and spread the joy of making it through winter. That's when it wasn't snowing on May Day, which, being Chicagoland, it sometimes did.
I'm grateful for where I live now, and have off and on since that fateful spring in 1970. I love the Pacific Northwest and its temperate wildness, its mountains and rivers and seas. They never fail to inspire, to encourage, to heal, and to enchant. So here I go, to see what's up. Happy May Day celebrations, however you do them. Let the headline-grabbing, and other-grabbing machinations of dastardly throne-grabbing families go, and turn your attention, and intention, to the life of the planet on which we ride. May your May Day be magical and spirit-filled.